Hello, world: GCHQ joins Twitter

GCHQ tweets: Hello, world Image copyright GCHQ

GCHQ is officially on Twitter. It may be following your account.

Given its remit to monitor electronic communications, you would imagine the intelligence agency was already on the social media site. But now it's tweeting.

Although appearing not to have quite the tongue-in-cheek wit the CIA managed with its opening gambit (below), GCHQ has still managed to crack an in-joke of its own.

The message "hello, world" refers to the initial coding usually taught to computer programmers when learning an electronic language, i.e.. how to make a device say 'hello, world' - just the level of technical minutiae the agency would be expected to be exploring.

Image copyright CIA

The agency has previous form for droll wit. When rebuffing interest over whether it intervened to prevent piracy of a Harry Potter book, a spokesperson for GCHQ told the Sunday Times: "We don't comment on our defence against the dark arts."

Of course, the online public reacted immediately to the tweet with a mixture of sarcasm and incredulity.

Image copyright Speedmokey | Matt
Image copyright The Panic
Image copyright Meowski Catovitch

So far, the Ministry of Defence has retweeted the message and the CIA has replied. Although this has already drawn out a similar response.

Image copyright Dundee Chap

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