A former cryptographer with the Dutch electronics firm Philips said that the company enabled the U.S. to spy on Turkey during the 1970’s and 80’s by weakening encryption devices that the country used for secure communication.
In an interview with the Dutch outlet Vpro, cryptographer Cees Jensen claimed that Philips, at the request of the CIA, weakened the Arolex devices that Turkey used, which was a common encryption technology used among NATO members between 1976-1982.
The United States reportedly wished to supply Turkey with diminished versions of the Aroflex devices so that it could monitor the country’s communications, however Germany would not allow this based on the fact that Turkey was a NATO member.
The CIA then approached Philips and, according to Jansen, the company ended up furnishing Turkey with inferior versions of the Aroflex known as the Beroflex. In order to do this, Jansen said that he fashioned special versions of the latter machine to make it appear as if it were the former so the Turks wouldn’t notice.
In a statement, Philips said that the company has not been able to find any information regarding this issue in their archives.