Investigative journalist and forensic expert
Last week, Computer Weekly reported that Parliamentary emails and documents stored in the cloud were open to scanning and surveillance by US and British intelligence agencies. GCHQ, the Cabinet Office, and the Parliamentary Digital Service have each claimed that the report was "wrong" or "inaccurate", but have not yet substantiated any specific alleged error or inaccuracy.
Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords have said they intend to raise questions when Parliament starts sitting this week. Here, we set out the documentary evidence of email monitoring, including from highly classified GCHQ and NSA documents released by Edward Snowden.
GCHQ and the US National Security Agency (NSA) have access to intercepted emails sent and received by all members of the UK Parliament and peers, including with their constituents, a Computer Weekly investigation has established.
The intelligence agency in Cheltenham has been able to harvest traffic details of all parliamentary emails, including details of the sender, recipient and subject matter, for at least three years. As a result, details of private email correspondence between MPs and constituents are being collected by GCHQ as a matter of routine.
GCHQ documents classified above top secret, released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also reveal that the spy agency has the capability to scan the content of parliamentary emails for “keywords” through an established cyber defence network that is connected to commercial software used to filter spam emails from MPs’ inboxes.
New questions raised about Britain’s snoopers’ charter after Denmark abandons its own UK-style surveillance programme for a second time
Britain’s biggest web companies will be forced to build a national network of massive internet surveillance centres, likely to cost billions of pounds, if MPs approve proposals the Home Office is determined to rush through Parliament after Easter.
MPs have been given only two weeks to read 1,200 pages of documents which disclose new powers to require technology companies to install secret surveillance capabilities in software, computer equipment or networks.
Computer businesses or IT staff who fail to destroy security on their products or services on demand, or who decline a Home Office order to hack their customers in Britain or overseas by installing or operating government malware, could face bankruptcy or long jail sentences if a new law before parliament goes ahead.
Investigatory Powers Bill
Duncan provided written evidence to the Joint Committee on the controversial new Investigatory Powers bill in December 2015 (inital submission and supplementary follow-up). The Committee is expected to report in February 2016.
We have also set up print-on-demand A5-book versions of the Draft Bill text and Home Office papers supporting the bill, as well as the three major 2015 surveillance reports that led up to it. Advocates as well as opponents of the new Home Office plans may find these bound volumes more convenient than the online PDF documents. (No revenue is generated to us from these books, they are set at the lowest price that Lulu will allow.)
Britain's national Lawful Interception (LI) tapping centre codenamed PRESTON (left) has replaced the secret TINKERBELL Post Office tapping centre I exposed in 1980
The "Big Brother" comprehensive national database system feared by many MPs has been built behind their backs over the last decade, and even has a name for its most intrusive component: a central London national phone and internet tapping centre called PRESTON.
PRESTON, which collects about four million intercepted phone calls a year, has also recently been used to plant malware on iPhones, according to disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The phones were then targetted for MI5 "implants" (malware), authorised by a ministerial warrant.
Invasion of the bungalows
Cold war history
During the 1950s, dozens of bungalows of almost identical design were secretly built across the length and breadth of Britain. Inside every one was a discrete guardroom, and a rear shaft leading down to protected radiation and blast proofed underground bunkers.
Many of them became emergency government regional wartime control centers during the Cold War.
All of the bunker network, called ROTOR, has been declassified and the bunkers decommissioned and sold off. This report from London's Time Out magazine, identified the network for the first time.
Protecting members of Parliament from mass surveillance by bulk collection is “exceedingly simple”, according to the US co-inventor of the high technology devices and programs now used by GCHQ to intercept optical fibre cables carrying Internet data in and out of Britain.
Bill Binney, formerly Technical Director of the NSA’s Operations Directorate, dismissed as “absolute horseshit” claims by government lawyers to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), reported in an adjudication last month, that “there is so much data flowing along the pipe” that “it isn’t intelligible at the point of interception”.
(Image credit: Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr)
The now-confirmed ECHELON communications satellite surveillance system run by NSA's and its "Five Eyes" allies has doubled in scale since 2000, and could quadruple, according to open research triggered by Edward Snowden's revelations. The expansion has been further enhanced by linking in other FORNSAT (foreign satellite) interception sites run by NSA's allies in secret pacts, including Germany, France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark. Read More...
After 27 years, the truth about the ECHELON surveillance system is out. NSA documents, published in the Intercept, reveal that the ECHELON system was setup "at the height of the Cold War" to spy on the west's communication satellite network, Intelsat.
"Yes, there is an ECHELON system", an NSA history note records, at the same time as making derisory references to the European Parliament's investigation in 2000 and 2001. Read More...
Fireside chats with spooks and ex-spooks about mass global communications surveillance and the "cold winds of transparency" brought about by Edward Snowden might seem an unlikely event for critical regulators, Google, Apple, and people like me. But that's what happened mid-May at the elegant private conference centre at Ditchley Park, near Oxford... Read More...
Claims that GCHQ has maintained spying operations even after US pulled out. The front page report for the Independent resulted in the British ambassador being summoned to the German foreign ministry. Read main story here
The Eavesdroppers: First article revealing GCHQ
In 1976, Duncan Campbell, along with Mark Hosenball, published THE EAVESDROPPERS, the first ever report on GCHQ.
21 May 1976 | Click here to read
Offshore libel case struck out
The High Court has struck out claims for libel by offshore property developer Raheem Brennerman against Duncan Campbell and Times Newspapers Ltd, publishers of the Sunday Times. Brennerman failed to pay a security of costs order for £225,000, after complaining about a report on the use of British charities names by offshore trusts. The High Court ordered Brennerman to pay the full costs of both his actions, likely to exceed £400,000.
Edinburgh, 21 June
Duncan is giving the 2016 CRISP Annual Lecture on "Big Data and Broken Law: Suspicionless Surveillance in a World of Ubiquitous Data" at Edinburgh University on 21 June 2016.
CRISP is the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy, an inter-university collaboration. CRISP say that places (free, but reservation only) are filling fast.
Uni Masterclass in Mass Surveillance
Duncan and former senior NSA director and whistleblower Bill Binney ran a masterclass in Mass Surveillance for a large academic audience at the University of Sussex in March 2016. Media lecturer Dr Alban Webb said that the class focussed "many discussions in the Sussex academic community". The Lab team and Ioann Stacewicz have published a full video of the session.
Duncan at CIJ Logan 2016
Duncan spoke on a panel at the Logan CIJ 2016 Symposium, along with NSA whistleblowers Bill Binney and Tom Drake, plus Annegret Falter (from Whistleblower-Network) and Holger Stark (of Der Spiegel).
Duncan talks Snoopers Charter with NewsPeeks
While Duncan was in Berlin for the Logan CIJ Symposium, he sat down for an interview with youth news organisation NewsPeeks, to talk about the impending changes to UK surveillance law.
Duncan interviewed on Al Jazeera
Duncan participated in a piece for Al Jazeera's Listening Post strand, about the potential impact of the Investigatory Powers Bill on journalism in the UK.
War Plan UK and The Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier are now available to buy in print again.
Deepsec Conference 2015
In November 2015, Duncan gave the keynote speech at the Deepsec conference in Vienna.
Duncan's presentation is now available to watch online, as is the one given by American writer James Bamford (author of The Puzzle Palace, the seminal 1982 book about the US National Security Agency).
Duncan's report in the Independent about the British electronic embassy spying operation in the heart of Berlin, called TRYST, aroused German government anger soon after Chancellor Merkel learned that he cellphone had been targeted by NSA. Read more and more
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists's "Offshore Leaks" investigation lifted the veil on the secret world of tax havens. Read More
The Capenhurst Tower
Read how Richard Lamont and Duncan Campbell exposed the true purpose of the Capenhurst Tower. Read more
The front end design of duncancampbell.org was done by Bernhard Mailer.
The website is populated and administered by Matt Fowler.
Find contact details here
Find out about Duncan's 40 years as an investigative journalist
Watch the legendary, once-banned 1987 BBC series
In 1977, Duncan was charged under the Official Secrets Act.
Watch the investigative reports created for Channel 4 and the BBC. Read more
Read stories on Echelon, phone-tapping, surveillance and more
Duncan has been a leading expert witness in computer forensics for nearly two decades.