Articles about gchq

UK's surveillance regime challenged in landmark European court hearing

The UK's surveillance laws have been put under the spotlight today as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) heard legal complaints against the government's spying powers. The landmark hearing in Strasbourg is the first time the court has been asked to rule on the legality of the UK's surveillance laws. It is part of an …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Nov 2017
Light bulb photo via Shutterstock

Brit spooks 'kept oversight bodies in the dark' over data sharing

Concerns have been raised that neither of the bodies tasked with overseeing the UK's spy agencies were aware that data they collected was shared with the private sector. According to documents released as part of an ongoing court case between the UK government and Privacy International, GCHQ and MI5 didn't tell watchdogs they …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Oct 2017

Fending off cyber attacks as important as combatting terrorism, says new GCHQ chief

Keeping the UK safe from cyber attacks is now as important as fighting terrorism, the new GCHQ boss has said. Jeremy Fleming, director of the signals intelligence service, said increased funding for GCHQ was being spent on making it a "cyber-organisation" as much as an intelligence and counter-terrorism unit. Fleming, who …
John Leyden, 9 Oct 2017
Spy

Snoops 'n' snitches auditor IPCO gets up and running

The latest agency that audits state spying in the UK, the Investigatory Powers Commission (IPCO), formally started operating today. IPCO is the latest incarnation of the public sector snooping regulator, the body previously having been called the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO). In plain English, …

Cyber arm of UK spy agency left without PGP for four months

UK spy agency GCHQ’s cyber security arm, CESG, was left without PGP encryption for more than four months, according to a government report. This "prevent[ed] direct electronic receipt of evaluation reports", it emerged in the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board (PDF) annual report. “Internal …
Kat Hall, 24 Jul 2017
Backdoor key

UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

British signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) can crack end-to-end encrypted messages sent using WhatsApp and Signal, according to Australian attorney-general George Brandis. Brandis made the claim speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's AM program, on the occasion of Australia …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017
spy_eye_648

Spy commissioners: Did we audit our bulk data sharing with industry? Err... not exactly

The commissioners responsible for overseeing the UK's spy agencies have admitted that they have never carried out a formal inspection or audit of the sharing of bulk communications and personal data with industry. The intelligence agencies' collection of mass communications data has come under repeated scrutiny, and the …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Jun 2017

MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues

Jeremy Fleming, the deputy director-general of MI5, is to helm GCHQ following the surprise resignation of Robert Hannigan this January. Citing "personal reasons", Hannigan informed the UK's Foreign Secretary of his decision to leave in an exchange of letters a couple of months ago. Even then, his departure came at a difficult …
Trump

GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh

UK intelligence agency GCHQ has dismissed US reports - cited by the White House press secretary - that it was involved in running a surveillance operation on Donald Trump before last year's US election as "utterly ridiculous". During a press conference on Thursday, White House press Secretary Sean Spicer cited a Fox News story …
John Leyden, 17 Mar 2017

Head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan steps down for 'personal reasons'

The Director General of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has announced his intention to step down as leader of the UK signals intelligence agency. Citing "personal reasons", Hannigan informed the UK's Foreign Secretary of his decision in an exchange of letters. His departure comes at a difficult time for the agency as pro-torture …

GCHQ feeds first crop of infosec startups to Cyber Accelerator

The first infosec startups selected for the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator have been unveiled. The accelerator, which officially launches in Cheltenham later today, is part of a UK government-funded Cyber Innovation Centre. The tech crèche is designed to nurture information security startups to the point where they can compete on the …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017
St Petersburg Russia

Russia to convicted criminal hackers: 'Work with us or jail?'

Russia is reportedly letting convicted crackers take a seat in its offensive operations units, as an alternative to doing time. The effort, said to have started in 2013, saw at least one legitimate security professional flee Russia to seek asylum in Finland after he allegedly refused to help operate a distributed denial of …
Team Register, 5 Jan 2017
Q in James Bond

UK.gov state of the nation report: Infosec's very important, mmmkay

The UK government’s first annual report on the implementation of the 2015 National Security Strategy has reaffirmed that cyber-security remains a key priority. The 39 page report (pdf) lists cyber-security alongside Russia’s actions in Syria and Ukraine and terrorism as among the greatest threats Britain faces. The range of …
John Leyden, 9 Dec 2016
Q in James Bond

Join the Q: British intel agencies seek tech-savvy apprentices

GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 are searching for would-be Qs, technically minded apprentices keen to cut their teeth working for British intelligence. Would-be tech quartermasters have until 14 November to get in their security service apprenticeship applications for this year's scheme. An apprenticeship "could be a tempting alternative to …
John Leyden, 11 Nov 2016
Photo by Windover Way Photography / Shutterstock

Trump's torture support could mean the end of GCHQ-NSA relationship

Comment If comments made on the campaign trail by Donald Trump were sincere, then today's British government will need to do some serious soul-searching very soon. Trump, who was today announced as the president-elect of the United States of America, has been controversially outspoken while seeking to be nominated as the Republican …

NSA, GCHQ and even Donald Trump are all after your data

Comment As production and usage of data keeps growing globally, it’s worth remembering that the US government wants access to your information and will use warrants, decryption or hacking to get to it. That’s not news and the US government has many tools in its box. Many had already heard of the Uniting and Strengthening America by …
Frank Jennings, 20 Oct 2016

New GCHQ unit: Psst, breached biz bods. We won't rat you out to the ICO

The new National Cyber Security Centre is pitching itself to CEOs as a friendly government organisation which won't get the regulators involved after data breaches. Those gathered this morning on the 18th floor of 125 London Wall heard one of the NCSC's deputy directors address CEOs on how they should lead their businesses' …

Great British Block-Off: GCHQ floats plan to share its DNS filters

Officials with GCHQ are said to be mulling a plan that would extend the UK government's network security tools to private-sector ISPs. GCHQ director general for cyber security Ciaran Martin has been in Washington, DC, pitching the plan to arm the ISPs with firewall updates aimed at blocking off known bad actors. The project, …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2016

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