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Further to the continued injured refrain from Brexiteers that the UK has been Ireland's best friend through the centuries: Ex-diplomats `always knew' Britain intercepted Irish communications.
Irish diplomats assumed the British government listened to all their communications with Dublin during the 1980s, former officials say.

Speaking after the revelation that the Irish government unwittingly used an encryption machine from a CIA-owned company, former diplomats stationed in Northern Ireland and elsewhere told The Irish Times it was no secret foreign agencies had easy access to Irish phone and text communications.

The equipment, which was manufactured by the Swiss company Crypto AG, gave the US intelligence agency, and consequently their British equivalent, access to encrypted messages during the sensitive period leading up to the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement.

The equipment was viewed as top of the range by Irish officials. "The view at the time was the Swiss made the best equipment," said one former official who worked in the London embassy for a period.

However, all former officials who spoke to The Irish Times said it was assumed at all times their communications were compromised.

"I think it would be fair to say that I and all our colleagues dealing with Anglo-Irish relations would have assumed that if there was [an electronic device] involved there was surveillance," said Seán Ó hUigínn, a former diplomat who led the Anglo-Irish division in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"So while the CIA ownership of Crypto AG may be a new detail, it is only a detail which does not affect the big picture."

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Feb 15th, 2020 at 01:50:37 PM EST

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