Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Government Agencies that Really Listen To You: SIGINT in the UK

By Jen Patja Howell
Monday, December 21, 2020, 5:01 AM

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been conducting and regulating signals intelligence, SIGINT, since before the United States was born. To talk about how they do it across the pond, David Kris sat down with two experts on UK SIGINT and SIGINT regulation: Michael Drury and Tony Comer, both veterans of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British counterpart to the U.S.'s National Security Agency. Michael was GCHQ's first full-time legal advisor from 1996 to 2010, when he joined the private sector, and Tony was GCHQ's historian until his retirement earlier this year. They compared and contrasted the U.S. and UK experience with SIGINT, SIGINT regulation, popular support for SIGINT and intelligence in general, and also some cutting-edge issues, including how SIGINT works today, synergies between SIGINT and cyber, GDPR encryption and online harms.