In 1976, Duncan penned a piece in Time Out magazine revealing for the first time in Britain the existence of a highly secretive intelligence agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters).  Following the Second World War, an exclusive intelligence sharing arrangement was implemented between the United States and Britain called the "UKUSA Agreement".  Shortly after, the agreement would be extended to include other English-speaking countries, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and known as the "Five Eyes".  To read the declassified UKUSA documents, released by the UK National Archive, click here.


Duncan's story was called The Eavesdroppers and it would both set in motion the events leading to the highly publicised ABC Case of the late 1970s, and form a significant source for his journalistic output.


Here you will find a collection of Duncan's stories and links to matters concerning GCHQ.

The Eavesdroppers

Duncan's seminal investigation into GCHQ. Until it's publication in 1976, no news source in Britain had mentioned its existence.

May, 1976

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Threat of the electronic spies

Vast sums are swallowed on intelligence collection, yet the agencies systematically fail to foresee important crises - Iran being the major recent example.

2 February, 1979

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Special relationships

The United States International Communication Agency declares the UKUSA communications relationship is without 'parallel.'

16 February, 1979

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The spies who spend what they like

The power of Britain's intelligence chieftains depends on the legend that their efficiency and integrity need no oversight.

16 May, 1980

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GCHQ: the cover up continues

New Statesman revealed evidence of widespread corruption, security failure and foreign espionage inside GCHQ. Further evidence of GCHQ's corruption is revealed and how it relates to dangerous incompetence.

23 May, 1980

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America's big ear in Europe

Menwith Hill Station, Yorkshire, is "the largest field site in the agency " (NSA). This massive major investigation run jointly with the Sunday Times in 1980 uncovered how, it was already one of the world's biggest telecommunications-tapping centres. Witnesses revealed how it was spying on Britain and Europe, and wired into international telecommunications

18 July, 1980

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Summary was published by New Statesman, 1999 

Thatcher Bugged by her 'closest ally'

The US National Security Agency monitors the British government using the facilities a Menwith Hill.

25 July, 1980

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Inside the Sigint empire

The revelation this week of the intense American concern about the extent of Soviet espionage in Britain has again focused attention on GCHQ -  the electronic espionage headquarters in Cheltenham.

29 October, 1982

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Unaccountable empire building

Duncan Campbell reveals for the first time the pyramid of official committees that 'control' Britain's spying activities.

19 November, 1982

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Unintelligent signalling

In every sense, the government's decision unilaterally to remove GCHQ employees' employment rights and try to bully them out of union membership resulted from American pressure.

3 February, 1984

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GCHQ boosts arms sales 

According to staff from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain spies on other countries' communications to obtain information for private arms manufacturers.

22 June, 1984

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Great idea - hide it

Britain has often led the world in computing - then lost its edge. Duncan Campbell reveals how GCHQ dismissed the code that drives deals on the internet.

6 May, 1999

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