Details have emerged about how United States of America’s top security firm, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spied on some 120 countries including 18 from Africa for a wide range of benefits.
The scandal, which was referred to as the ‘Intelligence Coup of the century’ by the CIA has been published by American news outlet, The Washington Post and German’s television channel, ZDF in leaked documents.
According to the report, a Swiss company known as Crypto AG, was acquired by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence at the height of the Cold War to sell encryption devices to more than 120 countries across the globe.
But unknown to these countries, the machines were rigged in a way that let the agency easily decrypt and read all messages sent by the company’s clients.
The African countries which patronized the American-German espionage included South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco and Nigeria.
The rest of them were the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
The account further outlines how the United States and its allies exploited other nations’ gullibility for years, taking their money and stealing their secrets.
The operation, known first by the code name “Thesaurus” and later “Rubicon,” ranks among the most daring in CIA history.
“It was the intelligence coup of the century,” the CIA report concludes. “Foreign governments were paying good money to the U.S. and West Germany for the privilege of having their most secret communications read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign countries.”
The customers(countries) were targeted based on their economic weight, on their continent, and were considered “strategic and or for their petroleum/crude resource.”
This scandal raises concerns about the management and or regulation of data in African countries especially since they are destinations of several donations of computer devices and other technological equipment from developed countries.
Below is a list of 62 countries that purchased the encrypted devices from Crypto AG