This sort of follows up from the Alan Touring papers I noted yesterday, allbeit with rather less pleasure and a more more sinister flavour.
Up in Yorkshire, near Harrogate, is what is reported as the largest electronic monitoring station in the world . Nominally it is an RAF base , but in reality it was long ago leased to the Americans and is run by the NSA, the American National Security agency. A body set up in by secret presidential decree in 1952, even now classified as secret so the Americans know little about it, and even less about what goes on in Yorkshire.
Anyone passing the site can see the huge domes, security fencing, razor wire and cameras. Someone I know, with a genuine interest in military history decided to drive round the site perimeter on the local roads and before getting half way said a large vehicle with 4 very large, dark uniformed, men pulled out and closely shadowed him until he left the area, security is tight!
Official information, what little there is, says this is a signals intelligence operation, monitoring foreign radio, satellite observation, providing nuclear warning provision, and generally doing its bit to protect us. In 2000 it apparently employed 1800 personnel, some from US defence contractors, Lockheed Martin being one name that’s mentioned.
Way back in the 1960s it was connected directly to the PO communication network tower with a capability of 32,000 telephone lines. That was upgraded until in 1975 (from a BT report) and it was connected directly to the UK/US undersea cable. Since then millions of dollars has been spent and 35 years worth of data path expansion will have taken place. Reputedly it now has the best and biggest Internet capability in the UK, and data is fed direct to Fort Meade in Maryland. The local CND site is quite chilling reading.
To quote one paragraph from the CND page:
“All telecommunications traffic to and from Europe and passing through Britain can be intercepted at the base, including private telephone calls, faxes, emails and other communications. Much of the information is collected, processed and relayed back to the United States automatically.”
Connecting some dots, foil hat time.
The UK has a census coming. Lockheed Martin is the census data collation contractor. Lockheed Martin is a main contractor at Menwith Hill. Menwith Hill feeds data direct to the NSA in Maryland.