Watch lecture video ›

Duncan Campbell: GCHQ and me and a roomful of Reg readers

Long suppressed video finally makes it onto the web

By Joe Fay

Posted in Reg Lectures, 4th August 2015 11:39 GMT

Reg Lectures Veteran investigative journalist Duncan Campbell detailed his long time entanglements with GCHQ and the Echelon project in a long-form article in The Intercept yesterday – but a select group of Register readers heard the full story from the man himself, last year.

Duncan used his Register Christmas Lecture to give a deep dive on how his involvement with the UK’s secret state began even before he was born, when his mathematician mother worked at a secret government facility during WWII with “a gangly fellow with a stutter who loved long-distance running and mushrooms”. Yes, of course it was Turing.

In the 1970s, Duncan became the first journalist to reveal the extent of GCHQ’s eavesdropping activities - and ended up charged with espionage under the Official Secrets Act.

Since then, he has continued to uncover the mysteries and secrets of the UK and US intelligence services, including the existence of Echelon, the first automated mass surveillance system.

You can gain a unique insight into what makes him, and the surveillance state, tick by watching our just released video of last December’s talk. (Yes, it's a bit shadowy, but perhaps that's appropriate given the subject matter)

Let's face it though, after 40 years of revelations from Duncan the biggest mystery might be that people are still so surprised by how wide-spread state sponsored eavesdropping is. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

15 Comments

More from The Register

Undocumented alien caught stealing orbits in our Solar System

Bee-Zed immigrant asteroid has been here for billions of years – too late to build a wall

Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

Exoplanets are neat and uniform. In our 'hood Jupiter and Saturn messed things up

Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System

Astro-boffins have waited decades to see something with such an odd orbit

President Trump turns out the lights on solar panel imports into US

Tariff jacks up price for overseas components

Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System

Iceball K2 is already active despite being far from the Sun

Storms blow away 2017 Solar Challenge field

Nuon Solar wins third race straight, out of 12 finishers

Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

Forget the supernovae, what's this about alien alloys?

Microsoft rolls out red carpet to hybrid Azure SQL databases

Redmond pitches tools for cloud byte-silo moves

Space, the final blunt-tier: Binary system ejected huge 'spliff' asteroid, boffins reckon

Pic 'Oumuamua produced by solar system that makes more asteroids than comets

Sigh. It's not quite Star Trek's Data, but it'll do: AI helps boffins clock second Solar System

Kepler-90 has same number of planets as our Sun