What is GCHQ?


GCHQ Building at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Defence Images

What is GCHQ, the British intelligence agency blamed by the White House for wiretapping Donald Trump?

GCHQ is short for the UK's "Government Communication Headquarters". It is in Cheltenham, and is the main 'listening post' for the UK's intelligence and defence communities. It has a close relationship with the US's National Security Agency, and with the UK's other close intelligence allies, the so-called "Five Eyes" (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States). It has often been controversial and was named on 16 March 2017 by White House spokesman Sean Spicer as being responsible for the wiretapping of Donald Trump, supposedly ordered by then President Barack Obama.

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