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Our rainbow celebration to mark IDAHOT day

News article - 17 May 2015

17 May is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. To mark this day GCHQ is illuminating its iconic building with the colours of the rainbow.

Last year we raised the rainbow flag on the GCHQ flagpole to show all our staff that we value our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) colleagues and are a modern organisation that does not tolerate discrimination in any form.

This year we wanted to make a bold statement to show the nation we serve how strongly we believe in this.

GCHQ celebrates IDAHOT day
©GCHQ 2015

Who we are

GCHQ is an intelligence and security organisation, working to keep Britain safe and secure in the challenging environment of modern communications.


What we do

UK citizens today conduct much of their lives over the internet, as do the Government, the Armed Services, Law Enforcement and industry.

For the UK to be safe and successful, the cyber connections and infrastructure we use need to be safe and secure. GCHQ plays a major role in making that a reality using our expertise and experience.

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How we work

GCHQ strives to ensure that life in the UK isn't compromised through cyber attack or on-line serious crime, employing some of the world's leading experts on Information Security.

Everything we do is governed by law, and overseen by the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers.


Latest news


Intelligence agency seeks graduates and non-graduates with complex coding and problem-solving skills.
GCHQ pays tribute to its predecessors on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
The Gloucestershire Echo has produced a five part series on the history of GCHQ's arrival in Cheltenham.
Prestigious scientific organisation honours Clifford Cocks, one of the developers of public key cryptography.
Richard Hammond, star of BBC’s Top Gear, and Zog Ziegler, local motoring correspondent, joined staff at GCHQ today to celebrate the purchase of a new life-saving motorbike for Severn Freewheelers.
The universities of Surrey and Kent have today both been awarded Academic Centre of Excellence status in Cyber Security Research.
GCHQ launch new pilot sponsorship scheme to develop the UK's future cyber talent.

Press Releases

GCHQ's iconic Cheltenham building will be lit up in rainbow colours as a symbol of the organisation's commitment to diversity.
GCHQ unveils the world’s biggest Raspberry Pi ‘Bramble’ at the Big Bang Fair 2015 at the NEC Birmingham as it attempts to inspire the next generation of young talent to think about a future in science and technology.
GCHQ is giving 30 people the chance to gain a unique learning experience on a ground-breaking six-week cyber summer school in the north of England.
Computer science students invited to apply for 10-week cyber training programme.

Gloucestershire Young Entrepreneurs bring innovative ideas to GCHQ

GCHQ, working with GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), hosted over fifty Year 9 students (ages 13–14) from eight of Gloucestershire’s secondary schools who came into their Cheltenham headquarters to pitch business ideas as finalists in the 2015 Young Entrepreneurs Competition.

How does an analyst catch a terrorist?

Without the aid of dark glasses and trench coat, GCHQ works every day to keep the UK safe. One of GCHQ's most important tasks is to identify and analyse the international dimensions of terrorist threats to the UK. Every operation will be different.
For an example of how a potential threat might be identified, what a GCHQ intelligence analyst will do to learn more about it, and what that analyst will do with the information uncovered in the process.

Our journey


GCHQ has been on a long and fascinating journey from the earliest days of the UK's Signals Intelligence effort at the beginning of World War I to the challenging technologies of today.

Director GCHQ, Robert Hannigan

Director GCHQ writes an opinion piece for the Financial Times

News article - 04 Nov 2014
In his first public statement, the new Director GCHQ Robert Hannigan discusses terrorist use of the Internet and how the security and intelligence agencies need greater support from technology companies to tackle this challenge.
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Today's technology

GCHQ depends heavily on its use of technology to succeed in its vital intelligence and security mission.

As the digital world changes increasingly rapidly, it demands a furious pace of innovation in our technical systems.