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The Spies of Tomorrow

Via the NY Times, a new show is out: “Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security” at the Science Museum in London through Feb. 23, 2020. The exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the British intelligence agency GCHQ. It gives a rare glimpse into the the tactics used to keep Britain safe. Why now?

“We needed to tell our story, to be able to show the British people that this is what we do on their behalf,” said Tony Comer, the organization’s official historian. Part of the aim, he added, is to convince “those who really like solving problems that perhaps a career in GCHQ is the right thing for them.”

He said that the agency was “radically” rethinking how it can attract the intelligence operatives of tomorrow.

“It’s up to us to persuade them how cool it would be to work in a place like GCHQ,” Mr. Comer said.

“Top Secret” is cleverly crafted to appeal to audiences of all ages. Adults can learn about the everyday business of communications-based espionage and counterespionage, and children have a play area full of word and number games.

The exhibition’s richest sections, which are devoted to World War I, World War II and the Cold War, showcase the unwieldy contraptions used for espionage that could now be replaced by a desktop computer, a laptop or a smartphone.

The instructions for use of a Pickwick telephone, which provided secure lines for British diplomats and government officials.

Read more in the NY Times.

The exhibition Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security runs through Feb. 23, 2020 at the Science Museum in London; sciencemuseum.org.uk.

To learn more about GCHQ, go to https://www.gchq.gov.uk/


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