Why the ICC is closed to the public today

The ICC will be closed to the public today.
The ICC will be closed to the public today. -Credit:Creative Commons License

The International Convention Centre (ICC) is closed to the public today. Visitors to the centre will be unable to walk through the mall, often used as a shortcut between the city centre and Brindleyplace.

The ICC is closed because of a cyber security conference being held at the venue between 13-15 May. Over 2,000 cyber security leaders and professionals will be attending GCHQ's flagship event CYBERUK 2024.

Today (Wednesday 15) will see tech minister Saqib Bhatti make a speech about the threats posed by Chinese state-backed hackers. The ICC, in Centenary Square, will open to the public again from tomorrow (May 16).

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This is the first time CYBER UK, hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has been held in the West Midlands. It comes at a time of heightened tension over the threats posed by cyber warfare across the world.

At the Birmingham conference, GCHQ director Anne Keast-Butler spoke about the rise of state-sponsored hacking which she said posed a 'significant risk to international norms and values.' She also highlighted the 'immediate threats' posed by Russia and Iran, carrying out actions ranging from cyber attacks, espionage and surveillance - but said most GCHQ resources were focused on China.

In a speech at the Cyber UK conference in Birmingham, she said: "Through their coercive and destabilising actions, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) poses a significant risk to international norms and values. In cyberspace, we believe that the PRC’s irresponsible actions weaken the security of the internet for all.

"China has built an advanced set of cyber capabilities, and is taking advantage of a growing commercial ecosystem of hacking outfits and data brokers at its disposal. China poses a genuine and increasing cyber risk to the UK."

The conference began today (May 15) at 8am and will run until 4:30pm.