‘What was needed were copyists, filers, and really intelligent men of capacity’

British signals intelligence and the universities, 1914–1992

Authored by: John R. Ferris

The Routledge International Handbook of Universities, Security and Intelligence Studies

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138572416
eBook ISBN: 9780203702086
Adobe ISBN:


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Until recently, British signals intelligence has been hidden in secrecy. In its best-known activity, the work of Bletchley Park during the Second World War, signals intelligence was linked closely to academics, and amongst the areas of the war where brains most created power. More generally, signals intelligence lies on the leading edge of several areas of technical and scientific development. Many of its activities have had great academic and social significance. Consequently, one would expect to see a close association between British signals intelligence and universities. An examination of this relationship illuminates both of these matters.

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