By Guy Faulconbridge and Jack Stubbs
LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The head of Britain's GCHQ
eavesdropping agency said on Wednesday that the spy agency was
seeking to engage more with business to harness top cyber talent
behind programmes to accelerate world-class technology.
"We have a whole range of accelerator programmes ... and
we're looking to do much more of that," Jeremy Fleming told the
Atlantic Future Forum. "Defence becomes: how good are we at
looking after our emergency technologies?"
"We are trying to create ecosystems that bring in academia.
They encompass start-ups, they bring venture capital, they bring
business expertise and from time to time they also bring deep
technical covert knowledge from GCHQ," Fleming said.
Fleming, a former MI5 officer who has headed GCHQ since
2017, outlined a future that was heavily reliant on data and
"We need to have a different debate with our publics, with
our government, our parliament but also between allies on how we
use that data and what privacy really means today," Fleming
He said his organisation was not diverse enough, with far
too few people from ethnic minorities.
"In my business, we are not nearly diverse enough," he said.
"I'm interested in attracting a different set of minds."
Asked what kept him awake at night, Fleming, said one of his
top concerns was that the security and defence services were
able to organise themselves quickly enough to defend against the
full range of modern security threats.
"I do worry that we are coming together quickly enough to
produce the institutions, the global alliances that are going to
take on the mantle from the (post-war) Bretton Woods system and
really see us into this digital and technology age," he said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)