Robert Hannigan Is the GCHQ’s New Director

Robert Hannigan appointed as director of the GCHQ

Robert Hannigan has been appointed as the new director of the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ). Hannigan replaces Sir Ian Lobban, who will step down this fall.

“I am delighted that Robert Hannigan has been appointed as the next Director of GCHQ. GCHQ’s world-class work is vital to the safety and security of the United Kingdom,” Foreign Secretary William Hague commented.

“As well as his impressive personal qualities, Robert brings to the job a wealth of relevant experience in the fields of national security, counter-terrorism and international relations. I’d also like to thank Sir Iain Lobban for his consistently strong and professional leadership as Director of GCHQ since 2008,” Hague added.

It’s worth noting that Hannigan is responsible for the UK’s first Cyber Security Strategy. He has also overseen the first National Security Strategy.

Before becoming the director of the GCHQ, Hannigan was the director general of defense and intelligence at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He occupied the position since March 2010.

He advised the country’s prime minister on counter terrorism, intelligence and security policy issues for a number of years. Hannigan was also the prime minister’s security adviser and head of intelligence, security and resilience in the Cabinet Office from 2007. That’s when he oversaw the National Security Strategy.

He has been the principal adviser to Tony Blair and Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland on the peace process. He has acted as a liaison with the Irish and the US government. He has also been a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

“It is a privilege to be asked to lead GCHQ, an organisation which is so central to keeping the people of this country safe,” Hannigan said.

He added, “I have great respect for the integrity and professionalism of the staff of GCHQ and for what they have achieved under the outstanding leadership of Iain Lobban. I am excited about meeting the challenges of the coming years with them.”

Over the past period, the GCHQ has come under scrutiny after the world found out that the intelligence agency is involved in all sorts of spying operations. Earlier this month, we have learned that the GCQH, along with its US counterpart, have infiltrated Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms in an effort to misinform and conduct propaganda.

In February, news broke that the agency had collected webcam images of millions of Yahoo users between 2008 and at least 2012 as part of a surveillance program dubbed “Optic Nerve.”


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