It was fascinating after my references last week (here and here) to the 7/7/05 terrorist attack to watch a brief video Three things we learnt from the head of GCHQ by Charles Moore on Saturday. He says,
“7/7 was THE key moment for GCHQ because it really woke them up – plus the fact British citizens were involved on our own soil;
“And secondly, that it was the world of the internet and, of course, this is the prime group of communications that GCHQ deals with.
“And so they had to crack the DNA of that and suddenly moved into gear and got on top of these networks – this was water if you like, in which the terrorists swim.
The textual version of this unprecedented interview with GCHQ’s departing director Sir Iain Lobban reads:
‘On 7/7, the day in July 2005 when British Islamists blew themselves and others to pieces on a London bus and Tube, some staff were playing frisbee on this grass. As the news came through, people rushed out and told them to stop. This was the shocking day – “I remember the nausea,” says Lobban. It was also the moment GCHQ had to seize: “It was about the internet. We started to identify the DNA of the networks the terrorists used.”
‘One lesson of 7/7 was speed. Lobban leads me to the “24/7/365” area, in which small 12-hour shifts monitor GCHQ systems and news bulletins. Through something called Action On, they can act so quickly and freely…’
If you should wish to watch/read these brief 3-part items click here. The first part covers fallout from the Snowden disclosures and the last covers GCHQ being run by ‘geeks’ as successors to Bletchley Park, of WW2 signals intelligence and code-breaking fame.