How the Brahms machine, Margaret Thatcher’s secret telephone, was invented

  • Gordon Corera
  • BBC Security Correspondent

The Brahms telephone inside a briefcase.

In 1980 a man was given a secret mission: to create a secure and portable telephone.

Today, having secure communications is at your fingertips with endless applications for the phone, something that was unthinkable a few decades ago.

40 years ago a man was given a secret mission: to make an encryption device to send sensitive information and intelligence to high officials in the United Kingdom.

Now He breaks his silence for the first time.

The mission began in a department store in the British city of Cheltenham. It was 1980 and Mike (only his first name, as his identity is still withheld) worked close by, at the Government Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ), one of the intelligence services of the country.

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