Friday, February 3, 2017

Spy History - Secret Radio Eavesdropping 'made operators deaf'

UK - 2 February 1982: GCHQ staff are suing for their loss of hearing after spending decades listening to ‘interesting’ frequencies...

...had been employed “to listen to radio signals — which the makers would not wish other people to listen to. “The desired signals would frequently be found among a large number of other signals — the way that one is accustomed to ‘finding on the ordinary radio particularly outside VHF and particularly in the evening.”

Many signals were “deliberately drowned” to prevent others hearing them. Their volume controls were always the highest pitch in case they missed anything. As a result, operators were listening to relatively faint signals among a barrage of much louder ones. Over a period of years, their hearing had been impaired. All had suffered from ringing in the ears.”

The case was settled a week later with damages of £25,000 paid to the operators. more