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The chief of MI6, Richard Moore warned that if Britain's intelligence services are to combat the mounting cyber threats, criminals, and terrorists, they must open up to collaboration with the global tech sector. According to him, the rapid speed of technological advancement, from artificial intelligence to quantum computing, implies that the agencies can no longer rely on their own solutions to handle the issues. In his speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London on Tuesday, Moore is likely to admit that "unlike Q in the Bond movies," MI6 cannot create the tools it needs in-house to face hybrid physical and virtual threats, reported The Guardian.
He noted that it will be vital to "plug into" the global technology industry through initiatives like the National Security Investment Fund, which poured £100 million into seven venture capital funds focused on supporting hi-tech businesses earlier this year. "I cannot emphasise enough how significant this is in MI6's culture, attitude, and style of working, because we have always depended solely on our own talents to build the world-class technologies to stay secret and deliver on our objective," Moore is slated to say according to advance extracts of his speech. For some years, MI6 has been concerned that China, in particular, could overtake the west's conventional technological superiority, which supports its intelligence activities, reported the media outlet.
Over the last five years, rapid gains in Beijing's cyber prowess have prompted some to believe it has the power to conduct global monitoring. "Our opponents are investing time, money, and ambition into mastering artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and synthetic biology because they understand that mastering these technologies will offer them a competitive advantage," read the extract of spy chief's speech. He believes that an intelligence service must be at the cutting edge of technological advancements.
UK's spy agencies sign cloud computing agreement with Amazon
It is worth noting that synthetic biology provides researchers with the tools to manipulate living organisms with extreme accuracy. Its emergence has prompted warnings from the United States, claiming its presence "enhances and widens" prospects to develop bioweapons. However, despite the apparent reference to COVID-19, the UK intelligence community believes that the disease was transmitted to humans through animals, reported The Guardian. Last month, it was revealed that MI6 and UK's other spy agencies, MI5 and GCHQ, had struck a cloud computing agreement with Amazon, the US computer and retail giant. Ciaran Martin, the former CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, believes that this would allow agencies to extract information from massive amounts of data in no time.
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