InfoGuard AG is a Swiss company
that currently specialises – in their own
words – in innovative network
solutions and comprehensive cyber security, based in Baar (Zug, Switzerland).
InfoGuard was once a subsidary of
Crypto AG, and – temporarily –
a joint venture between Crypto AG
On 25 January 2018, it was announced that a management buy-out had taken
In 1989, InfoGuard became a joint venture between
and Ascom, that concentrated on selling
Ascom Radiocom radios
with CAG crypto. The joint venture had been rushed into
place, as Ascom was about to be taken over by
Gretag – another
Swiss crypto manufacturer
– and the US
National Security Agency (NSA)
feared that the company would enter the commercial market with
unfriendly 1 equipment.
By giving Crypto AG control over the crypto, this could be prevented.
The newly established joint venture was located across the street from
Crypto AG (CAG) and was largely controlled by
who held the majority of the shares. 2
The development department consisted of five CAG engineers, headed by
Joerg Spoerndli (who was unwitting of any CIA/BND involvement).
It was decided by the CIA
and BND that InfoGuard would sell readable
equipment to all customers, with the exception 3 of Switzerland,
Germany, Sweden and commercial banks .
By 1989, InfoGuard had sold little and became a financial burden to its
shareholders: Crypto AG
In 1990, Ascom pulled out of the deal
and on 1 January 1991, Crypto AG took over Ascom's shares,
after which InfoGuard became a wholly-owned Crypto AG subsidary again.
The research and development team quietly rejoined Crypto AG and the name
InfoGuard AG was kept as a legal entity for possible future activities.
In a press release of 25 January 2018, it was announced that as of 1 February
2018, InfoGuard would no longer be a subsidary of Crypto AG, but an
independent company, as a result of a management buyout lead by Robert Schlup,
Giuliano Otth (then CEO of Crypto AG) and Thomas Meier.
The latter became the new CEO of InfoGuard .
InfoGuard appears to be affiliated
with CyOne Security AG,
another Crypto AG management buyout led by the same three people
as InfoGuard. CyOne
operates in the same cyber security market as InfoGuard.
In this context, unfriendly means that the cryptographic algorithms
would not be breakable by NSA.
Also known as unreadable. In contrast:
algorithms that are breakable by NSA,
are called friendly or readable.
765 of the 1500 shares.
BND tried to argue for exceptions – specifically for France and The
Netherlands – but the CIA was unwilling to comply. They were prepared
however, to consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis. In practice,
no exceptions were made, and InfoGuard even sold readable
equipment to the three excepted countries .
- InfoGuard AG
Phone: +41 (0)41 749 19 00
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 08 December 2019. Last changed: Tuesday, 25 February 2020 - 07:13 CET.