By Richard Norton-Taylor
25 June 2009
Intelligence agencies led by GCHQ, the government's electronic spy
centre, are to step up operations against a growing threat of
cyber-attacks, Gordon Brown announced today as part of the government's
updated national security strategy.
A new Cyber-Security Operations Centre will be attached to GCHQ's
headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. A separate Office of
Cyber-Security will coordinate policy in Whitehall under senior official
Neil Thompson, with staff recruited from MI5, MI6 and other government
Brown said: "Just as in the 19th century we had to secure the seas for
our national safety and prosperity, and in the 20th century we had to
secure the air, in the 21st century we also have to secure our position
in cyberspace in order to give people and businesses the confidence they
need to operate safely there."
Cyberspace was a new area where "hostile states, terrorists and
criminals can all threaten UK security interests", the Cabinet Office
said. The Association of Chief Police Officers is already drawing up a
new strategy on law enforcement and cyber-crime.
However, Lord West, the Home Office security minister, was unwilling to
reveal the number and scale of cyber-attacks against British government
agencies or private companies.
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