Sir John Adye on Intelligence and Security Amid Rapid Technological Changes

On February 6 2019, the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs hosted a talk by Sir John Adye, reflecting on his experience at GCHQ and discussing the organization’s vital role in the field of national security and intelligence.

Sir John presented a comprehensive genealogy of the field of intelligence and security to better position GCHQ in a comprehensive historical context. The essence of his presentation was drawn directly on his t34 years' experience at GCHQ, providing the audience with an insightful synthesis of the workings of the organization. From its initial stage as the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), GCHQ has been adapting to the various changes and disruptions that can threaten UK’s national security, noticeably its focus on Signals Intelligence and Cyber Security. Sir John encouraged practical and direct engagement with emerging challenges that technological changes propose, and believes GCHQ to be one of the most effective channels through which it can be done.

On retirement from government service in 1996, Sir John became Chairman of the Country Houses Association. He also joined the Board of the US National Biometric Security Project (NBSP) in 2003 and has been Chairman of Identity Assurance Systems (IdAS) since 2010.