Operation Rubicon

For decades, the BND and CIA overheard the encrypted communications of over 100 states. Operation Rubicon has been kept secret for decades and is regarded as the greatest success of the BND (by the BND).

Victims were Arab and South American countries, but also NATO partners. They trusted the crypto technology of a Swiss manufacturer, and were cheated. What were the political consequences of reading these secret messages?

  • The “Rubicon” papers prove that the BND and CIA were informed early on about the overthrow of Chilean President Allende in 1973 and the serious human rights violations by the Argentine military junta. This had no political consequences whatsoever, for example in the form of protests by the German government.
  • During the Falklands War the BND was able to decode the Argentinians' military radio communications, and the information resulted in the British victory. One of the clearly provable cases in which “Rubicon” had concrete - and bloody - consequences.
  • One of the biggest customers for the manipulated Swiss encryption devices was Iran. For decades, Germans and Americans were well informed about the secret government communications of the Ayatollah regime and used this knowledge, for example in the hostage affair, to free US embassy staff.

Secret service expert Prof. Richard Aldrich:

Operation Rubicon was one of the most daring and also one of the most scandalous operations, because over a hundred states paid billions of dollars for their state secrets to be stolen.

Research by ZDFinfo, Frontal 21, the Washington Post and the Rundschau of the Swiss television SRG, have resulted in several documentaries, revealing details and consequences of operation Rubicon.

  • Last modified: 2020/03/21 21:36