US News: GCHQ facing 'unique challenges' of rapid technological change - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News GCHQ facing 'unique challenges' of rapid technological change

07:55  01 november  2019
07:55  01 november  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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a close up of a device: GCHQ was formed on 1 November 1919, under the original name of the Government Code & Cypher School © Sky News Screen Grab GCHQ was formed on 1 November 1919, under the original name of the Government Code & Cypher School GCHQ will rise to the challenge posed by rapidly changing technology to protect Britain from cyber and terrorist threats 100 years after the agency's foundation, its chief has said.

Jeremy Fleming's comments came as the spy service revealed the existence of five locations where decoding and eavesdropping took place during the Second World War.

They included Abbots Cliff House in Kent where dozens of young German-speaking, female linguists were stationed, listening into German radio messages.

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Rapid changes in technology are posing ' unique challenges ' to the security services which will face 'enormous complexity' in the future, the boss of GCHQ has said. The Government Communications Head Quarters - more commonly known as GCHQ - will today celebrate its 100th anniversary after a

Technological change (TC) or technological development, is the overall process of invention, innovation and diffusion of technology or processes. In essence, technological change covers the invention of technologies (including processes)

Video: Never-before-seen glimpse inside GCHQ (Sky News)

A group of huts in a field near Scarborough were also acknowledged publicly. They were part of a set of "direction finding stations" that stretched along the coast from northeast Scotland to the Thames estuary. Their job was to locate enemy vessels in the North Sea.

Mr Fleming drew on GCHQ's history of code-breaking successes over the past century and on the spy's agency's continued relevance in a world of growing information and technology.

"For GCHQ, it has been a century of shortening wars, saving lives and giving the UK a technical edge," he said in remarks released to mark the spy agency's centenary.

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a glass door: Alan Turing played a pivotal role in breaking the Enigma code © Sky News Screen Grab Alan Turing played a pivotal role in breaking the Enigma code

"I can't predict what GCHQ will look like 100 years from now. Who we are has been shaped by the changing threats and technology around us. In the future we will continue to face enormous complexity but also enormous opportunity.

"We're living through a period of accelerated change in terms of technology: that comes with huge advantages and unique challenges for society. It means the way we work is changing. But throughout our history we have always tackled developments in communications to stay one step ahead. We have always risen to the challenge that change brings."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked the spy agency for its service.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Metropolitan Police training college in Hendon, London, Britain October 31, 2019. Aaron Chown/Pool via REUTERS © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Metropolitan Police training college in Hendon, London, Britain October 31, 2019. Aaron Chown/Pool via REUTERS

"GCHQ has been home to some of the brightest people in the country who quietly, and without fanfare, work day and night to keep us safe," he said in a statement.

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First named the Government Code & Cypher School, the organisation was founded on 1 November 1919 with the merger of naval and military signals intelligence units that had demonstrated the value of code breaking and eavesdropping during the first world war.

The agency was initially based at Watergate House in London.

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It moved to Bletchley Park in 1939 just before the start of the second world war. Its name was changed to the Government's Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, to disguise the top secret activities that were really going on.

Under the leadership of Alistair Denniston, GCHQ hired some of Britain's most brilliant minds, including the mathematician Alan Turing.

They were tasked with cracking Germany's Enigma coding device.

a house with trees in the background: Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes was famously home to GCHQ as it became the centre for code breaking during the Second World War © Sky News Screen Grab Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes was famously home to GCHQ as it became the centre for code breaking during the Second World War

It was a challenge they rose to with the creation of Mr Turing's Bombe deciphering machine, which enabled the allies to understand encrypted messages sent between German forces - a move that ultimately helped end the war and secure victory.

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The sharing of signals intelligence methods and information between Britain and the United States during this time paved the way for a unique intelligence-sharing relationship between the two allies and also Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The so-called Five Eyes partnerships exist and remain important to this day.

a close up of an engine: GCHQ rarely speaks publicly about its work but has tried to become less secretive in recent years © Sky News Screen Grab GCHQ rarely speaks publicly about its work but has tried to become less secretive in recent years

"In 2021 we will mark the 75th anniversary of the UKUSA [intelligence-sharing] agreement that became the cornerstone of the Five Eyes relationship," Mr Fleming said.

"It goes beyond the sharing of tradecraft, data and intelligence reporting. People take up roles in each other's organisations, further strengthening the understanding between our agencies. It's a quite extraordinary partnership that plays a pivotal part in global security and stability, and still stands strong today."

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