CORRECTION - Countries Affected By CIA Spyware Scandal Should Seek Justice In ICJ - Pakistani Senator

ST. PETERSBURG (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 15th February, 2020) Countries whose security might have been compromised by dealing with a global encryption company secretly owned by US and German intelligence services for over 50 years should collectively call for an inquiry at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistani senator Sehar Kamran told Sputnik on Friday.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post newspaper and German broadcaster ZDF published a joint investigation revealing that the CIA and West German intelligence (BND) secretly owned Swiss firm Crypto AG between 1970 and 1993 with the CIA remaining a secret owner until 2018 to supply rigged spyware that allowed the agencies to eavesdrop on both their allies and enemies. The company, founded in 1952 and liquidated in 2018, sold sophisticated spyware to governments of over 120 countries.

"The countries affected should call for an inquiry in the International Court of Justice, as the US' agencies and Switzerland actively supplied rigged spyware and breached their sovereignty by listening to their national secrets without their permission," Kamran said.

According to the politician, the use of this special equipment undoubtedly gave the US authorities an "upper hand in their dealing with Pakistan and handling of the Indo-Pak conflict."

"It will not be an exaggeration to state that the US officials could have pitted Pakistan's political parties against each other to their own benefit because of the intelligence they have received over the years," Kamran added.

Besides Pakistan, clients of the firm also reportedly included India, Iran, Latin American countries, and even the Vatican. Notably, Russia and China chose to stay away from the equipment.

"It is no secret that the US is the largest military equipment supplier to India. Tensions between the two nuclear neighbors benefit the large industrial complexes [that reside in the US] economically because they can sell their equipment to both India and Pakistan," the senator said, added that it still remained unclear as to the magnitude of this spyware's impact on the Indo-Pakistan conflict.

On Tuesday. Switzerland, a nation famous for its neutrality policy, said it was launching an investigation into the espionage allegations. However, according to the senator, this move should have been taken years ago and that the latest development is a "serious blow to Switzerland's status as a neutral country."

Kamran also mentioned that Washington and its agencies had been known to spy on other countries, including its European allies.