What the Integrated Review means for GCHQ
Today the Government publishes the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (the Integrated Review, or IR).
This sets out the Prime Minister’s vision for the UK in 2030. It sets a course for a stronger, more secure, prosperous and resilient Union and a problem-solving and burden-sharing nation with a global perspective. It seeks to create new foundations for our prosperity, adapting to a more competitive world through an integrated approach. It also shows how the Government is modernising UK defence, security and foreign policies to protect the UK from threats and improve people’s lives.
GCHQ supported the development of the IR and our work is vital to delivering it, helping to “improve our ability to detect, defend against, disrupt and deter the range of threats we face in the physical world and in cyberspace.”
For over a century GCHQ has worked to keep the nation safe but, as threats have evolved, so have we. Alongside our role as an intelligence agency, in recent years we’ve played a major role in establishing the UK as a responsible cyber power. Through our National Cyber Security Centre we strive to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. And now through our partnership with the Ministry of Defence in the form of the National Cyber Force we’re building on that position of defensive strength, transforming our cyber capabilities to contest adversaries in cyber space.
The review identifies sovereignty, security and prosperity as “shared interests [that] bind together the citizens of the United Kingdom,” . GCHQ is looking to draw on expertise from right across the country through our avowed offices in Cheltenham, London (NCSC), Scarborough and Bude. Most recently we have opened a hub in Manchester where we already have several hundred staff operating and we plan to recruit many more. They will be joined in the North by the National Cyber Force which is setting up its HQ in the region.
The IR identifies an enhanced focus on science and technology (S&T) as an arena of global competition. GCHQ’s expertise in these areas and data science will help in “fortifying the UK as a global S&T and responsible cyber power.” The UK is already a world-leader on AI and the measures outlined in the Integrated Review will help us to maintain that position. We’ve set out how AI will be a fundamental technology across our missions – from countering state-backed disinformation campaigns to protecting the country from cyber attacks.
As well as these new aspects, the IR pledges “to sustain our commitment to homeland security”. We will be unrelenting in fighting traditional threats from states, terrorism, and serious and organised crime.
This is an exciting moment for the future of the UK and we look forward to playing our part in delivering the national vision.
Director GCHQ Jeremy Fleming said:
“In today’s digital world, science and technology are fundamental to the daily life, security and prosperity of the nation. The Integrated Review sets out to enhance the UK’s status as a world-leading cyber power alongside developing the nation’s strategic advantage through science and technology.
GCHQ, with data analysis and technological innovation in its DNA, has a central role to play in delivering this vision. The Integrated Review will ensure we can continue to bring our cutting-edge capabilities to bear against the UK’s adversaries online and in defence of the digital homeland.”
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