GCHQ begins centenary year celebrations

GCHQ has started its centenary year celebrations by acknowledging the evolving threats facing the UK and promising help keep the nation safe for the forthcoming 100 years.

A statement from the organisation highlights how it has always valued different perspectives and skills diversity since setting up in 1919.

“Our history is full of ordinary people solving extraordinary problems,” reads the statement. “The changing threats we face will demand ever more of the ingenuity for which we are renowned.”

GCHQ originally formed under the name of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS). It was the result of the merger of Room 40 in the Admiralty, responsible for naval intelligence, and MI1(b) in the War Office, responsible for military intelligence, during the First World War.

GC&CS became the single organisation responsible for signals intelligence, producing intelligence from others' communications whilst protecting the UK's own has been at the core of the mission. It was renamed GCHQ in 1939 to better disguise its secret work.

The GCHQ statement goes on to highlight how its operations today are much more diverse.

“Supporting the military is still very much part of our role, but we also now tackle the most serious cyber, terrorist, criminal and state threats,” it reads.

“In an increasingly digital world, the need to protect the UK's communications is a part of GCHQ's role that continues to be equally as relevant. The formation of the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, is helping to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.”

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