World
Head of UK's GCHQ eavesdropping agency to step down
Publish Date: Jan 29, 2014
Head of UK's GCHQ eavesdropping agency to step down
An undated handout file picture received from Channel 4 on December 24, 2013 shows US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden (AFP Photo/)
  • mail
  • img
newvision

The head of GCHQ, the secret eavesdropping agency that has come under scrutiny following leaks by former US analyst Edward Snowden, is to stand down.

Iain Lobban, 53, will leave the agency later this year after serving nearly six years as director, the Foreign Office said.

It denied that his departure was related to revelations contained in Snowden's leaked documents that GCHQ was one of the main players in mass telecommunications surveillance.

"Today is simply about starting the process of ensuring we have a suitable successor in place before he moves on as planned at the end of the year," said a Foreign Office spokesman on Tuesday.

The Government Communications Headquarters -- a giant, ring-shaped building nicknamed "the doughnut" -- is situated in the spa town of Cheltenham in southwest England.

It is at the heart of Britain's "special relationship" with the United States when it comes to spying, according to the documents.

They claim the NSA secretly funded GCHQ to the tune of £100 million ($160 million, 120 million euros) over the last three years.

One of Snowden's revelations was that Britain was running a secret Internet monitoring station in the Middle East, intercepting phone calls and online traffic, with the information processed and passed to GCHQ.

It also tapped into more than 200 fibre-optic telecommunications cables, including transatlantic ones, and was handling 600 million "telephone events" each day, according to Snowden.

"They are worse than the US," Snowden told The Guardian.

Called to appear before a parliamentary committee last November in response to the Snowden leaks, Lobban insisted the agency was not conducting mass snooping on the British public.

"We do not spend our time listening to the telephone calls or reading the e-mails of the majority," he said.

It was the first time a head of the agency had given evidence in public.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Nigeria
Nigeria''s influential ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo says President Goodluck Jonathan misread the Boko Haram crisis....
Centre for Science and Environment welcomes move to improve Delhi air quality
Centre for Science and Environment (SCE) has welcomed a move by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to direct a 14-point action agenda to improve the air quality of Delhi....
A country braced for Africa
Namibia will vote in Africa''s first electronic ballot Friday, an election that will usher in a new president....
She was set on fire for resisting molestation
A teenage girl has died one week after a gang of men set her on fire for resisting their attempts to molest her....
Islamic State group gains toehold in Libya: experts
With Libya engulfed in chaos, the town of Derna in the east of the largely lawless country is emerging as a new stronghold for the Islamic State jihadist group, experts say....
Two Czech ministers from the centre-left government received envelopes containing poison last week, according to a local official and media....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter