False allegations of using NCSC/GCHQ propaganda to influence children

By The CyberFirst (CF) Team:

An investigative journalist has written a series of 3 articles which are heavily critical of the Cyber Schools Hub initiative, CyberFirst and very much anti NCSC/GCHQ. The first article appeared on Tuesday in the Daily Maverick (a South African publication) and has since been picked up by Russia Today and implies that CF are attempting to indoctrinate children as young as 4 yrs old.

On 3 June, CF believe the 2nd article is focused on some of the companies that provide fantastic support to the local schools in Gloucestershire – although CF would suggest the article will not be framed in such a positive manner.

The GCHQ/NCSC press office have provided their contact details and some rebuttal lines:

Press office details are:

Statement on allegations of using NCSC/GCHQ propaganda to influence children:

 An NCSC spokesperson said:

“Engagement is at the heart of the NCSC’s work, and we were created to improve standards in cyber security.

“These insinuations are utter nonsense. We are open and transparent about our work with children and young people, and proud of the CyberFirst initiative to address the current cyber skills gap.”

 Statement of allegations of exposing children to arms dealers (reactive only):

An NCSC spokesperson said:

“We have over 100 organisations covering sectors ranging from retail, banking, law, accountancy, cyber security, telecoms, defence and Higher Education – all providing valuable support for our CyberFirst initiative, which inspires children to consider a career in cyber security.

“Any suggestion that these partnerships are used to indoctrinate primary school children or for any other purposes is simply nonsense.”

CF would be grateful if stakeholders would share with their respective (press) teams and if they have any concerns or contact regarding this diatribe of a story, then please either refer them to the NCSC press team. In these unsettling times, the most surprising of conspiracy theory may gain more traction than normal.

You can find the story published on 2 June at:

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-06-02-revealed-the-uks-largest-intelligence-agency-is-infiltrating-british-schools/

and RT story at:

https://www.rt.com/uk/490518-gchq-school-programs-recruitment/

This information is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and may be exempt under other UK information legislation. Refer any FOIA queries to ncscinfoleg@ncsc.gov.uk. All material is UK Crown Copyright ©