This documentary tells the story of the Venona Project, a remarkable feat of cryptanalysis that began in 1943 and continued through the Cold War years, decoding messages sent by Soviet intelligence agencies. The programme features interviews with several surviving officials involved with Venona, including codebreaker Meredith Gardner and retired FBI agent Robert Lamphere. The two exposed a vast network of spies operating in the US, including highly placed agents at the clandestine facility in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the atomic bomb was designed and built. The Venona Project did not become public knowledge until 1995, fifteen years after it was discontinued, but its disclosure has caused scholars to reassess the history of the Cold War. Among the Russian agents revealed by Venona was Los Alamos scientist Klaus Fuchs, who was tried and convicted for espionage in 1950. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were prosecuted as the leaders of the Soviet atom spy ring and executed in 1953. The programme also tells the story of Los Alamos scientist Ted Hall, who was identified by Venona but never confessed and managed to escape prosecution, even though his espionage gave the Soviets the key to designing their first nuclear weapon.

Film Duration: 34 min .