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Welcome to GCHQ

​My name is Iain Lobban and I have the privilege of being the Director of GCHQ. I have spent over thirty years in the Department and, in summer 2014, I will complete my six years as Director.

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

Our heritage can be traced from the tremendous achievements in signals intelligence at Bletchley Park in World War II. We and our forerunner organisations served our country during both World Wars and then the Cold War. Today, we address a range of modern demands, dealing with threats from terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons and the resolution of regional conflicts around the world, as well as protecting the economic prosperity of the UK.

GCHQ is firmly part of the British Government - I attend the weekly National Security Council chaired by the Prime Minister. We work closely with colleagues from other government departments, UK armed forces serving abroad, and with our partners in the intelligence community, MI5 and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

We work to the Foreign Secretary and are subject to scrutiny from Parliament, two senior judges and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal on the legality, necessity and proportionality of our work. We are proud of being an organisation of high ethical standards and culture, embedded in the framework of British law.

We are a secret organisation. We cannot publish all that we do - it would compromise our operations and our capabilities. But I hope that you will get a picture of the work we do, the challenges we face and the kind of people we are.

Iain Lobban