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CIA ‘rigged’ spyware - to what extent are we compromised, asks veterans group

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The Patriots group has expressed concern over the extent classified national security and defence information has been compromised following a report that Malaysia had purchased potentially spying devices rigged by the CIA years ago.

Malaysia’s armed forces and police veterans group called on the National Security Council (NSC) to investigate the matter after it was revealed in a recent special report by The Washington Post.

“If indeed our government had acquired the device, the question that needs to be asked is to what extent 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 and 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 acquired from Crypto AG,” Patriot president Mohamed Arshad Raji said in a statement today.

In the report published last Wednesday, The Washing Post claimed Malaysia was among the countries which purchased allegedly rigged encryption equipment from a now-shuttered company owned by the US and German spy agencies.

The two spy agencies - the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the US and Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) in then West Germany respectively - had secretly owned Swiss company Crypto AG which made millions of dollars from the sales.

 The report alleged that at the same time, the devices were rigged to allow the two agencies to gather intelligence from unsuspecting countries.

The report, however, did not detail when Malaysia was to have made the purchase, how long the machines were used for and what, if any, information was gathered from the country.

Arshad, meanwhile, further questioned Malaysia’s dependence on foreign powers for such purchases, saying this placed the country at the mercy of more advanced countries.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Defence Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office have yet to respond to Malaysiakini’s request for comments on the report.

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