Director GCHQ speaks at the official opening of the National Cyber Security Centre

Last Updated: 14 Feb 2017
Robert Hannigan welcomes HM the Queen, HRH Prince Philip and other dignitaries to the official opening of the NCSC in London on 14 Feb 2017.

Speech - 14 Feb 2017

Robert Hannigan's speech as delivered:

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, Secretaries of State, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is a great honour to welcome you to GCHQ for the opening of our new National Cyber Security Centre. This morning we begin a new chapter in nearly 100 years of GCHQ’s service to the country.

During the War, King George VI, who was a regular reader of Bletchley's intelligence reports, was told that our mathematicians and engineers were building Colossus, the world’s first digital computer. This was to have consequences well beyond the vital job of codebreaking for which it was invented.

Colossus ushered in the era of digital information and computing power. As a result, during the 65 years of your reign, Ma’am, there has been a new Machine Age, every bit as significant as the Industrial Revolution.

The exchange of digital data across the internet, and through the World Wide Web, has already brought extraordinary opportunities. As you saw this morning, more aspects of our lives become connected to the internet every day, and the next generation will benefit from amazing new possibilities, many of which are yet to be imagined.

But all this progress depends on an infrastructure which is safe, and secure against attack by those who wish to abuse this great invention.

In creating a National Cyber Security Centre, we have a very high ambition: to make the United Kingdom the safest place to live and do business online. In stepping up to this challenge, we in GCHQ know that this is as great a task as any we have met before.

But I have confidence that the brilliance, technical innovation, and whole-hearted commitment of Bletchley Park, endure today in the men and women of GCHQ, MI5 and the Government, industry and international partners who are joined together in this great enterprise.

It is in this spirit of Bletchley that I now ask you, Your Majesty, to open the National Cyber Security Centre.


All three of them are laughing at something
HM the Queen with Robert Hannigan, Director GCHQ, and Ciaran Martin, CEO NCSC. ©Design102 2017