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The history of GCHQ's enduring relationship with the Military

Feature - Nov 2014
2014 marks 100 years since the start of World War One, and also the centenary of the birth of British Signals Intelligence. This was no coincidence; the need to keep the Military one step ahead was a key driver behind the development of Signals Intelligence.
Over the decades, communications methods have continually evolved, but one fact has remained constant - wherever the Military deploys, Signals Intelligence can be crucial to keeping our forces safe.
Throughout November, we will be commemorating our enduring relationship with the Military.
In recent years, many GCHQ staff have deployed to serve overseas alongside the Military, being there to ensure vital intelligence gets through to keep forces safe.
Today we are sharing Kenny's memories of  the challenge of being military but deploying to Afghanistan with GCHQ.
GCHQ at night

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

Press Releases

CESG, the Information Security arm of GCHQ, in partnership with APM Group, has today launched the CESG Certified Training (CCT) scheme to assure high quality cyber security training in the UK.
To launch this year’s Royal British Legion Gloucestershire County Poppy Appeal, around 1400 GCHQ staff, both civilian and military, worked together to create a giant poppy in the centre of the iconic GCHQ ‘doughnut’ building in Cheltenham. 


Finalists will be challenged to investigate and prevent simulated cyber terrorist attacks in London
Over 500 local pupils create poppy-themed artwork ahead of Remembrance Day.
The GCHQ Language Outreach Team receives the 2014 Threlford Memorial Cup for its work in schools to encourage the study of languages.
07 Nov 2014 - GCHQ Scarborough veteran revisits her past
A 92-year-old former World War Two wireless operator visits the station for the first time in nearly 70 years.
Robert Hannigan, the new Director GCHQ, publishes an article today.
Robert Hannigan assumes his new position as head of the Cheltenham-based intelligence agency today, taking over from Sir Iain Lobban.

GCHQ draws schools in for Poppy picture competition

News article - 11 Nov 2014
To commemorate the centenary of World War One, and in support of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal, GCHQ invited primary schools in Cheltenham and Gloucester to take part in a Poppy picture competition.
Students from Reception to Year 6 were invited to design and colour a 'Poppy-themed' picture.

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.

Sir Iain Lobban

Director GCHQ makes his valedictory speech

Press Release - 21 Oct 2014
On Tuesday 21 Oct, Sir Iain Lobban delivered his final speech as Director GCHQ at the Churchill War Rooms in London. Sir Iain spoke of how the challenges have evolved over a career, which spans from the darkest days of the Cold War to the world today, which “continues to be a dangerous and unpredictable place”.
A hand using a touchscreen device

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.