GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Remember the story about the wannabe Swiss spy, a technician who stole data from the national spy agency, FIS (SRS in French and SND in German) which surfaced at the end of September? It’s resurfaced, with the Swiss reportedly officially telling the UK and the US that they cannot guarantee no data on terrorism was compromised. The intelligence agencies share terrorism and some other data.
The Swiss government has not responded to the reports, which may in fact be based on old information.
Reuters reports that the data may have been compromised, while ats news agency reports this in a subheading as “probable”, although its article says maybe. Ats cites a source close to a Swiss federal investigation into the theft by a disgruntled technician who worked for the intelligence services. Reuters cites European national security services who asked for anonymity.
The Swiss government said in September that the data had all been recovered and none of it was compromised. The other governments were informed at the time, so it is unclear if this latest information contradicts earlier reports and is new, or if it is exaggerated.
The story is nevertheless making headlines in media around the world, from The Daily Mail in the UK to the Huffington Post in the US (which publishes the Reuters story) and even the Daily Times in Pakistan, with few media crediting the news agencies as their sources, often ratcheting up the story to make it more dramatic.
The federal government is investigating not only the leak, but the capability of the intelligence services to react to a possible theft.