Embassy Spying

Secret US espionage activity against Germany revealed this week by Der Spiegel has added new evidence to European concerns about the interception of the phones of the Germany's Chancellor Merkel and other world leaders. Duncan was a consultant to Der Spiegel for the enquiry and identified the listening "windows" shown on the front cover.

Similar, top secret listening installations, protected from scrutiny by diplomatic immunity are used to conduct massive electronic listening, usually from the top floors of US embassies.  One is in Berlin.  Others are located in European capitals from Paris to Athens.

Duncan filmed inside a similar decommissioned British surveillance facility using the same techniques as the US and UK currently use to spy in Europe's capital cities.

His investigations led to a 1999 television expose about how the UK had secretly intercepted and analysed all the international communications of the Irish Republic, an EU member.  GCHQ's activities were later found to be unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights.

You can read about embassy spying here.  See menu items below.



How embassy eavesdropping works

Embassy spy centre network

In 1999, Duncan co-produced a Channel 4 report Capenhurst Tower - a former surveillance structure used to spy on Ireland.  See how embassy eavesdropping works using covert technology.  Read more

Secret espionage activity against Germany by the US triggered diplomatic crises when it was revealed that the US and Britain installed covert listening posts on the rooftops of their embassies.  Read more


British Spying

Special Collection Service

News that Britain is operating a secret embassy-based eavesdropping site in Berlin has caused a “serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries." Read more

The Special Collections Service (SCS) is a joint NSA-CIA agency specialising in covert surveillance operations, including US embassy listening posts.  Here you can see the SCS slides released by Snowden and images of the SCS 'mock' site in Maryland. Read more