14th February 2020
CIA-LINKED CRYPTO AG SPIED FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS
The expose by Washington Post relating to the sale of rigged spying devices manufactured by Crypto AG and linked to the CIA, and sold to 120 governments, sends a chilling message that classified security and defence intelligence might have been captured by the CIA on governments that had acquired the device.
Malaysia had been named as one of the countries that has acquired the spying device, and in all probability such spying devices would only be used either by the military or the police, or by both the agencies. Only Russia and China had been identified as governments that had not acquired the spying device.
If indeed our government had acquired the device, the question that need to be asked is to what extend had the CIA and its operatives breached our classified security and defence intelligence. We believe it could be extensive. We are not surprised if telephone conversations between national leaders with other leaders of the world had been monitored. Our National Security Council needs to seriously look into this issue and if possible, totally revamp the security apparatus accuired from Crypto AG.
It has also been reported that a board member of Crypto AG had formerly served with Israel Defence Force, and the Israeli government is well known for having spy operatives planted throughout the world.
Our government is at the mercy of the more advanced countries in terms of the acquisition of high-performance devices to be used by our intelligence agencies and operatives. Ideally we should have developed such devices in order to be self-reliant in such sophisticated intelligence matters. The over-reliance of a foreign purchase of such devices clearly shows that we do not have the capacity nor the ability to develop and manufacture indigenously such sophisticated and sensitive spying devices. The reality is that there is no political will to venture into such development and manufacturing capability. Or are we not too concern about our security and defence matter?
How long more do we need to be dependent upon foreign acquisition of such highly sophisticated and sensitive spying devices, is a question that needs to be answered and viewed seriously by the government today.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan