British spy agency publishes tech strategy on GitHub

How tech is changing every agency.

One of the world’s most secretive organisations - UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ - has published its technology strategy on code-sharing site GitHub. The document is an “internal research paper” discussing how GCHQ must change with technology trends, including in big data, skills, procurement, hiring and organisational culture. The document was published this week on Github - a website for sharing software coding and allowing others to comment and edit them - to “stimulate debate”, wrote Niel Kempson, the agency’s Director General for Technology. The move by GCHQ shows that technology is changing even one of the most closed organisations on earth. The agency was revealed by Edward Snowden to be running one of the world’s biggest surveillance programmes, tapping internet data straight from underwater cables. “The technology industry is always changing, and it seems that the pace of that change is increasing. We feel it as much as other government departments and commercial organisations and so we offer this internal research paper publicly, not to present policy or guidelines, but to stimulate debate,” Kempson wrote. The British spy agency also joined Twitter earlier this week as @GCHQ, posting its first tweet “Hello, world” on May 16. “We will be using Twitter to talk about our history, mission outcomes, languages, maths, cyber security, technology and innovation, job opportunities and as a way of signposting events, publications, news, blogs, and opinion pieces,” a statement from the agency said. Image by Defence Images, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0