| Maximator-Alliance |
(Mass Surveillance, SIGINT)
|Interests||Falklands War, Turkey, Cuba, Venezuela.|
|Exposed by||Hans van de Ven|
|Intelligence Alliance, similar to Five Eyes.|
Maximator (named after a type of beer from the German brewery Augustiner-Bräu) is an alliance between the secret services of Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden, comparable to the Five Eyes. It was founded in 1976 on the initiative of the Danish secret service, has operated largely undetected since then, and is still in existence.
Wikipedia has an article about the organisation, but omits details of what kind of effect the operation has had;
Maximator (named after a type of beer from the German brewery Augustiner-Bräu) is an alliance between the secret services of Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden, comparable to the Five Eyes. It was founded in 1976 on the initiative of the Danish secret service and has operated largely undetected since then. The most important tool for reconnaissance and decryption was the sale of encryption devices with weak encryption methods. This was done via Crypto AG, a supposedly private Swiss company secretly owned by the BND and the CIA.
At the urging of the CIA, the sale of compromised encryption devices from the Dutch company Philips to Turkey was enforced against the will of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, and the TIVC. The alliance was founded in 1976 by Danish intelligence and initially only consisted of Denmark, Sweden and West Germany. The Dutch government was invited to join in 1977 and joined in 1978. The name was chosen in 1979 and was taken from a Munich-brewed beer. France requested to join in 1983 and with strong support from West Germany joined in 1984.
Whistleblower - found death later on - Hans Van de Ven has no page at all.
Journalist Huub Modderkolk reported a similar network in his book "It's war, but nobody sees it", and was followed on Dutch soil for his work, resulting in getting sued by the AIVD and MiVD. His book with revelations was mostly used in Cold War 2.0 efforts to highlight Russophobia in Dutch current affairs program Nieuwsuur.
|eter F. Müller, investigative journalist; Paul Reuvers and Marcus Simons, Cryptomuseum Eindhoven; Markus Kompa, writer. Peter F. Müller revealed in February a delicate collaboration between BND and CIA for harvesting SIGINT via backdoors. It turned out that this was just the tip of an iceberg.
While researching a documentary about the German foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Peter F. Müller came across a top secret document (MINERVA) about a delicate collaboration between BND and CIA. Since 1970 the spy agencies secretly owned and controlled the Swiss based Crypto AG, the world market leader for encrypting devices. They were selling rigged crypto-machines to more then 100 countries in the world and CIA and BND were thus able to intercept and decrypt the diplomatic and military communications from those countries. Peter F. Müller put together an international team of investigative journalists to find out more about this intelligence operation, including Paul Reuvers from the Cryptomuseum in Eindhoven as technical adviser. While the BND is often portrayed as a looser, operation RUBIKON as it was called by the BND was a success story for over half a century. Security expert Prof. Richard J. Aldrich rates the project “as probably the most important intelligence operation in history.” To protect the method the governments of USA and Germany had to pretend blindness even when they learned about war crimes. The revelation in February which was nicknamed #CRYPTOLEAKS raised a political scandal in Switzerland. The story continued when Peter F. Müller revealed a parallel running secret sharing alliance for intercepted information between five European states called operation MAXIMATOR. There is more to come.
Within the participating countries specific intelligence organisations played relevant roles. In Germany the BND is responsible for (foreign) signals intelligence, whereas what was then called the ZfCh did the cryptanalytical work. In Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands these activities were combined in respectively the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS), the National Defence Radio Establishment, and the Technical Information Processing Centre. French Maximator activities were part of the DGSE. American services played a role in the background.
The most important tool for reconnaissance and decryption was the sale of encryption devices with weak encryption methods. This was done via Crypto AG, a supposedly private Swiss company secretly owned by the BND and the CIA. 
So far, only the activities of the Dutch arm TIVC (formerly Technisch Informatie Verwerkingscentrum today Joint Signet Cyber Unit) are known. During the Falklands War, Dutch gave the British GCHQ access to Crypto AG algorithms, enabling them to decode Argentine radio traffic, vital for winning the war. The Dutch had again received access to this information from the BND through the Maximator alliance.
In 2020 former MIVD SIGINT-head Van de Ven exposed the Maximator-Alliance, After the leak, it was reported by The Economist, The Register and the Dutch NPO. Being named "the number one suspect of the MIVD regarding leaking classified files", Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad mentioned that there were "sources confirming people were not happy with Van de Ven's leaks".
Death of whistleblower
Van de Ven was found death in Amsterdam. Although foul play was suspected, the police closed the case. After some media PR by the family, including exposing the police refusal to investigate the subsequent "burglary" in the house of Van de Ven, the police reopened the case in 2022, only to close the case one year deeming the death a "natural one". This was after the police was admitting to have deleted all pictures (another case of missing documents) of Van de Ven's body at the scene - because of the immediate "natural cause" ruling - even though the secret service MIVD had already joined the investigation, prompting a change in national procedure for police investigations. Private investigators were only told of this by a whistleblower who requested to remain anonymous.
All 5 of the members already have pages here:
|Denmark||Member of the EU, NATO.|
|France||A European nation, former colonial power, permanent seat on the UNSC|
|Germany||"The economic powerhouse of Europe" - Germany dominates the European Union.|
|Netherlands||Politicly fragmented and very densely populated country. Had very lenient drug and (underage) sex laws. Named a "narco-state" by neighbouring countries. Home of the first Bilderberg meeting.|
|Sweden||A nation state which is heavy on social control, but which defied the SDS COVID lockdown policy.|