Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

The Martin and Mitchell defection 1960



In September 1960, two U.S. National Security Agency cryptologists, William Hamilton Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, defected to the Soviet Union. In a subsequent press conference they revealed a great deal about Western sigint activities, especially concerning the interception of the communications traffic of minor Western allies. They commented that the NSA routinely read the communications of some forty countries. Speculation that they were "sexual deviants" generated intense press coverage.

Back to home page

GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret Intelligence Agency