Earlier this week, a number of mainstream UK media outlets claimed
that the United States was given the green light by the Blair Government to spy on all Britons.
This was presented as a startling new revelation. In fact, this sort of thing was exposed way back in the 1970s by one of the Duncan Campbells (there are two journalists with that name).
This became known as the Eavesdroppers affair, the ABC Official Secrets case or the Agee-Hosenball affair. Philip Agee (now deceased) and Mark Hosenball were both Americans, a CIA agent and a Reuters correspondent respectively.
At the time, Campbell was working for Time Out
. He collated all his information from the public domain, but this so infuriated the establishment that all three men found themselves in court under the Official Secrets Act
. The work of these men, especially Campbell, led to the first ever mention of GCHQ, the British Government's so-called listening post on the world. GCHQ now has its own website
, something that almost certainly would never have happened but for Campbell's pioneering work. Take any information you find on that site with a pinch of salt.
Campbell has now published many of the details of the infamous Eavesdroppers affair and the ABC Official Secrets trial on his website, including a fourteen and a half minute video called On the Grounds of National Security
. The main speaker here is Tim Gopsil, who until recently was Editor of The Journalist