The threat from espionage

Last Updated: 02 Dec 2015
The threat from espionage did not end with the collapse of Soviet communism in the early 1990s. As worldwide political and technological environments have evolved, GCHQ's priorities have changed to meet them.


In the past, espionage was directed towards obtaining political and military intelligence. Today, our technology-driven world means cyber criminals can target commercial and government-related organisations across fields such as information and communications technology, genetics and defence.

Serious crime

A significant proportion of organised crime is enabled by cyber networks. In addition to making the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business, GCHQ works closely with the new National Crime Agency to combat crime by sharing intelligence, capabilities and expertise.