See inside GCHQ for the first time

Cameras have finally been allowed into GCHQ, one of the UK's most secretive buildings

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The Independent Online

The first images inside Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been revealed after cameras were allowed into the building for the first time.

GCHQ's 24-hour operation centre monitors events around the world and supervised filming inside the top-secret building is an extremely rare occurrence.

GCHQ is based in a secure building in Cheltenham.

The images inside GCHQ come as Prime Minister David Cameron visits President Barack Obama in Washington, with a cyber cell of British and American intelligence and security agents set to be created to defeat online attacks. Under the plans, GCHQ and MI5 will join forces with NSA and FBI.

A report by GCHQ recently warned that the computer networks of British companies were under daily attack by hackers, criminal gangs, commercial rivals and foreign intelligence services.


GCHQ has supplied intelligence to the military since 1914 and deploys staff to warzones.

The agency, which is responsible for signals intelligence, is one of the three UK intelligence and security agencies, alongside MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

It came under fire after Edward Snowden’s leaks revealed it had spied on foreign politicians at a G20 summit and was secretly monitoring private online communications through Prism, a controversial American programme.