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IBM, PGP fill Bletchley Park's rattling tin

US firms boost UK codebreaking heritage

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The campaign to save Bletchley Park from decay and disrepair is moving stateside.

On Tuesday, a fundraising group organized by IBM and the cryptography firm PGP plan to launch a US campaign to raise awareness of the historical landmark and raise donations for its preservation.

Bletchley Park was home to UK code-breaking operations during World War II, and the site where the German Enigma code was cracked. It also housed Colossus, the world's first programmable computer.

Today, Bletchley is home to the National Museum of Computing — but a lack of funding has sadly made the facilities fall into a state of decay.

PGP said as an encryption firm, the company has a strong connection to the pioneer work that went on at Bletchley Park. PGP CEO Phillip Dunkelberger said the company also believes the technology industry as a whole owes a huge historical debt to Bletchley Park and has a duty to preserve and protect the site for future generations.

"It is anticipated that other technology companies will want to become part of the consortium as the initiative's profile is raised," said Dunkelberger. "The consortium is making a donation of approximately $100,000, intended to help bridge the immediate funding gap at the National Museum of Computing and encourage more companies and individuals to pledge further financial backing."

PGP will organize a launch event at Bletchley Park as well as create a website to take donations. The company said it also plans to sell special t-shirts through the site, with proceeds going to the museum. ®

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