The Government Communications Headquarters is a British intelligence and security organisation responsible for providing signals intelligence and information assurance to the British government and armed forces.
Information assurance is the practice of assuring information and managing risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information or data and the systems and processes used for those purposes.
Signals intelligence is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether communications between people or from electronic signals not directly used in communication.
How GCHQ Classifies Computer Security - Computerphile by Computerphile
Based in "The Doughnut", in the suburbs of Cheltenham, GCHQ is the responsibility of the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, but it is not a part of the Foreign Office and its Director ranks as a Permanent Secretary.
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, often informally referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior official within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Permanent Secretary, in most departments officially titled the Permanent Under-secretary of State or PUS, is the most senior civil servant of a British Government ministry, charged with running the department on a day-to-day basis.
Cheltenham, also known as Cheltenham Spa, is a regency spa town and borough which is located on the edge of the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Gloucestershire, England.
British government launches DDOS attack on Anonymous by RT America
GCHQ was originally established after the First World War as the Government Code and Cypher School and was known under that name until 1946.
During the Second World War it was located at Bletchley Park, where it was famed for its role in the breaking of the German Enigma codes.
Bletchley Park was the central site for British codebreakers during World War II.
Currently there are two main components of the GCHQ, the Composite Signals Organisation, which is responsible for gathering information, and the CESG, which is responsible for securing the UK's own communications.
The Joint Technical Language Service is a small department and cross-government resource responsible for mainly technical language support and translation and interpreting services across government departments.
It is co-located with GCHQ for administrative purposes.
In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK via the Tempora programme.
The National Security Agency is an intelligence organization of the United States government, responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, a discipline known as signals intelligence.
Edward Joseph Snowden is an American computer professional, former Central Intelligence Agency employee and former contractor for the United States government who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013 without prior authorization.
Tempora is the codeword for a formerly secret computer system that is used by the British Government Communications Headquarters.
Snowden's revelations began a spate of ongoing disclosures of global surveillance.