UK reveals new ‘National Cyber Force’, announces Space Command and mysterious AI agency

UK reveals new ‘National Cyber Force’, announces Space Command and mysterious AI agency

The United Kingdom has announced £16.5 billion ($22bn) of new defence spending, some of which has gone towards a newly-revealed National Cyber Force and some earmarked to create a Space Command and agency dedicated to AI.

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s statement to the house about the new spending revealed that the nation has already created the Cyber Force. The Register understands it has operated since around April 2020.

Intelligence agency GCHQ has provided a little detail on National Cyber Force's (NCF's) operations, saying it will provide unified operational command for personnel from the Ministry of Defence, security agency GCHQ, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

GCHQ’s announcement says the Ministry brings operational expertise, DSTL will provide scientific and technical capabilities while GCHQ tosses in its global intelligence. MI6 will provide “expertise in recruiting and running agents alongside its unique ability to deliver clandestine operational technology.

GCHQ says Cyber Force will get jobs such as:

  • Interfering with a mobile phone to prevent a terrorist from being able to communicate with their contacts;

  • Helping to prevent the internet from being used as a global platform for serious crimes, including sexual abuse of children and fraud; and

  • Keeping UK military aircraft safe from targeting by hostile weapons systems.

  • Johnson’s speech styled the space operation as the “Royal Air Force Space Command” and said its activities will include “launching British satellites and our first rocket from Scotland in 2022.”

    The Ministry of Defence’s announcement labels the agency “Space Comma ..