Feeds

Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ

Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

GCHQ's eavesdropping concrete doughnut in Cheltenham is getting a new boss from autumn this year, the government confirmed today.

Robert Hannigan is set to replace Sir Iain Lobban, who has been in the post for nearly six years. Lobban has faced political heat around expert spy-squealer Edward Snowden's revelations, as well as privacy concerns from campaigners opposed to a widely-ridiculed draft law that would have allowed spooks and cops to massively ramp up online surveillance of innocent Brits.

The new man was appointed by Foreign Secretary William Hague with the blessing of Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Hannigan has served as director general, defence and intelligence within Hague's department since the Tory-led coalition government was formed with the Liberal Democrats in 2010.

National Security Adviser Sir Kim Darroch chaired the recruitment process that led to Hannigan getting the ministerial nod.

Robert Hannigan

Of Lobban's time at GCHQ, Darroch remarked that he had "done an absolutely outstanding job at an exceptionally testing time for the organisation."

Gloucestershire-born Hannigan, meanwhile, previously had the ear of one-time Labour PM Tony Blair, whom he advised on Northern Ireland's peace process.

He later headed up Blighty's national security strategy in 2007 under Blair, and appears on the steering group for the Cabinet Office's 2008 review of the government's handling of personal data [PDF] – he also wrote its interim progress report the year before [PDF]. This study was launched after HMRC lost a couple of CDs containing personal records on every child-benefit-claiming family in the UK. At the time, Hannigan was Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience, at the Cabinet Office.

The top spook grew up in Yorkshire and studied classics at Wadham College, Oxford. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.