Security and Technology are now intimately and irrevocably entwined as Communications and Computers each pose both threats and solutions to security of all kinds.

Although the electronic computer came into existence during WW2 it was used for what are now regarded as off-line activities, where time is not a major controlling factor.  It is well known for originating code-breaking at Bletchley Park in the shape of Colossus, regarded as the first of its kind to implement the theoretical machine originated by Alan Turing and designed by Tommy Flowers around the existing technologies used in the telephone industry.  Read about Eva Nowill and her time at Bletchley Park here.

It was sometime later that the additional use for online purposes became possible, controlling machinery by executing operations in real-time and responding to feedback to modify output as necessary.  The requirement was driven by calls from industry to move to what is now called automation, and more especially by the military to provide a timely defence-and-attack capability to respond to modern forms of weaponry. This link to Marconi Radar History , kindly provided by Alan Hartley-Smith, explains and explores one use of technology in this area.

Joan Smith’s memories of her time working for AVRO also refer to early computing in the defence industry – read more here.

Find out below which contributors to the archive are also linked to this hugely important and fascinating area of technology.