On 25 April, Professor John Ferris of the University of Calgary delivered the keynote address to the Politics & History Annual PhD Student Conference. Professor Ferris was recently appointed “Authorised” Historian of GCHQ, the UK signals intelligence agency. His keynote, The War Trade Intelligence Department and the Blockade of Germany, 1915-1918, discussed a relatively unknown aspect of British intelligence during the First World War. Speaking to a full lecture hall, Professor Ferris examined how Britain used economic intelligence, gathered from intercepted communications and British consulates around the world, to restrict German imports from neutral states. This fascinating subject shed light on an important precursor to Britain’s intelligence successes during the Second World War at Bletchley Park.
On the authorised history of GCHQ: https://www.gchq.gov.uk/news-article/gchq-celebrate-centenary-2019