Seemingly following the lead of its American counterparts, Britain's top spy agency has officially joined Twitter on Monday, with the Government Communications Headquarters, more commonly known as GCHQ, introducing itself and following a very notable account, @007, the official account of none other than James Bond.
Apart from James Bond, however, the GCHQ has only followed a couple dozen more, mostly other government agencies, showing that the agency is quite selective about who it chooses to follow on Twitter. Despite this, however, the page has become quite popular, attracting more than 12,000 followers immediately.
The GCHQ's thrust towards social media is seen by many as a means for the organization to reach out more to the people. In a nutshell, the Twitter account the firm just launched is part of the agency's PR efforts, making it far more relatable to the common man. In a press release, the GCHQ did state its objectives behind the creation of its official Twitter account.
"We want GCHQ to be more accessible and to help the public understand more about our work. We also want to reach out to the technical community and add our voice to social media conversations about technology, maths, cyber security, and other topics where we have a view," the agency stated.
"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."
So far, however, the GCHQ's account is not that active. Its very first tweet, in fact, is just a simple greeting attached to the agency's press release.
Hello, world. https://t.co/SROtSsE8KB
— GCHQ (@GCHQ) May 16, 2016
Other intelligence agencies, such as the United States' CIA, which officially joined Twitter back in 2014, was quick to welcome its peer, promptly stating "Welcome to Twitter @GCHQ!"
The U.K. has previously announced that it would double its efforts to prevent Britain from succumbing to cyber attacks in the future. In a previous statement, the U.K. stated that it is looking to hire about 1,900 more spies in order to combat ISIS and other similar terrorist organizations. The GCHQ was also allocated an extra $2.7 billion in funding over five years in order to create the country's cyber defense force.