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Home News Switzerland intelligence chief steps down after Crypto affair 

Switzerland intelligence chief steps down after Crypto affair 

Published on 12/05/2021

The Swiss government decided on Wednesday to accept the mutually-agreed departure of its top intelligence officer, who was criticised for his handling of last year’s Crypto affair. 

The mandate of Jean-Philippe Guadin, head of the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS), ends on August 31. He is expected to move into the private sector. 

Defence Minister Viola Amherd thanked Gaudin for his commitment to the role. Jürg Bühler will act as interim director of the intelligence service until the succession is settled. 

Gaudin took the helm of the FIS in July 2018. Prior to that he headed the Military Intelligence Service from 2008 to 2015, before serving as defence attaché in Paris. 

A parliamentary report criticised Gaudin for his handling of the Crypto affair, a scandal that broke in 2020 after media revealed that the Swiss-based Crypto AG company – a predecessor firm of Crypto International – was at the heart of a huge spying operation since the 1970s. 

The encryption company, which sold its products to governments around the world, was used by the CIA and the West German intelligence services for decades to listen in on global communications. 

Although Gaudin was not at the helm at the time of the events, he was nevertheless faulted for informing the Federal Council (government) too late.