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emfizz.com March 23, 2017


New director named for Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ

21 March 2017, 11:26 | Terri Saunders

Senior MI5 veteran to become the new head of the British intelligence agency GCHQ

Jeremy Fleming the new head of GCHQ

The Sunday Times reported MI5's Jeremy Fleming, who it said had worked at the intelligence agency for at least 20 years, would be named GCHQ head this week.

Jeremy Fleming will succeed Robert Hannigan as director of the agency often referred to as Britain's listening post. He has been deputy director of MI5 since 2013.

His work in the organisation included leading its preparations for the London 2012 Olympics.

"The organisation has a distinguished past and an increasingly important role to play in keeping Britain safe in the digital age", he said.

Nearly two months to the day since Robert Hannigan announced he was stepping down from his post as head of GCHQ, Boris Johnson has announced Hannigan's successor.

The appointment was announced by foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who said he was an ideal man for the job given his long stint in public office dealing with matters of national security, which started as an MI5 officer in 1993. The agency called the claims "utterly ridiculous".

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GCHQ has been dragged into the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump's assertion that he had been a surveillance target at the direction of former President Barack Obama.

The comments prompted a furious response from GCHQ, which in a break from normal practice issued a public statement: "Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct "wiretapping" against the then president-elect are nonsense".

Mr Fleming will also oversee the agency's efforts to counter the threat from hackers amid mounting concern over the danger posed by cyber attacks.

The appointment, which was signed off by Prime Minister Theresa May, was made following a recruitment process chaired by National Security Adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant.

"I don't think the rubbish being uttered by the Trump camp will affect the day-to-day operational co-operation between the United Kingdom and USA intelligence agencies, but it'll be important to remind our partners there that more consideration and respect need to be afforded to the intelligence communities by the Trump administration", the paper was told.



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