The GCHQ Composite Signals Organisation Station Morwenstow is a satellite ground station located on the north Cornwall coast between the small villages of Morwenstow and Coombe, UK operated by the British Government Communications Headquarters. There are a series of satellite dishes of various types and an on-site power facility. The dishes are generally orientated towards the equatorial INTELSAT communications network, the Middle East and mainland Europe. Staff are drawn from GCHQ (UK) and the NSA (US) and the station is operated under the UKUSA agreement, gathering data for the ECHELON signals intelligence network. GCHQ CSO Morwenstow is located close to the commercially operated satellite ground station Goonhilly, and signals relayed to this station are routinely intercepted.
Various objections have been voiced by EU member states that consider that amongst other activities Morwenstow is responsible for corporate eavesdropping. Intelligence gathered by Morwenstow usually remains classified, however, certain incidents such as the dealings between the French firm MicroJet and Iran over the sale of what was found to be generators have been reported in the public domain.
Categories: Military - Communications