National Security in the Quantum Age.

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) otherwise known as MI6 works secretly overseas, developing foreign contacts and sources of intelligence to make the UK a more prosperous and safer place. It works worldwide to counter terrorism, resolve international conflict and help stop the spread of nuclear and other non-conventional weapons.  Secret Intelligence Services (the 'SIte') is concerned with Information Collection and Analysis of UK and Foreign Secret Intelligence Organisations. Our goal is to identify historical facts, news and  innovation about Intelligence in general although our focus is primarily on UK and Western Organisations.  Secret Intelligence Services (the 'site') is not connected to any Government Organisation calling itself a Secret Intelligence Service.  Please take the time to read our terms and conditions.

THE UK INTELLIGENCE NETWORK

MI5 - Military Intelligence (Section 5)

Director General - Ken McCallum, reports to Home Office Minister Priti Patel

MI5's states that its "mission is to keep the country safe, both now and in the future. The organisation's values contribute to that mission: Its singular focus on the mission, striving for real results that make the country safer.

 

Working as one as MI5, bringing together in common purpose the best that everyone can give, supporting colleagues and treating each other with respect, and forging close partnerships and teams with others we depend upon." It operates under the highest standards of integrity, objectivity and sense of proportion, using great skills, expertise and experience; to produce high quality information management, a strong security culture and commitment to the rule of law.  Ethical conduct, accountability and compliance within its own procedures, is a cornerstone of MI5's mission and culture.  The service is constantly seeking new ideas and different approaches to advance its capabilities, improve its ways of working, and overcome obstacles to its success. Learning and development and sharing knowledge is embedded in this culture and is vital towards the success of MI5.

MI6 - Secret Intelligence Service (Section 6)

Chief - Alex Younger CMG, reports to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

 

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the government of the United Kingdom, tasked mainly with the covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence (HUMINT) in support of the UK's national security. SIS is a member of the country's intelligence community and its Chief is accountable to the country's Foreign Secretary.

 

Formed in 1909 as a section of the Secret Service Bureau specialising in foreign intelligence, the section experienced dramatic growth during World War I and officially adopted its current name around 1920.  The name MI6 (meaning Military Intelligence, Section 6) originated as a flag of convenience during World War II, when SIS was known by many names; it is still commonly used today. The existence of SIS was only officially acknowledged in 1994 with the introduction of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 (ISA), which placed the organisation on a statutory footing for the first time and provides the legal basis for its operations. Today, SIS is subject to public oversight by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

GCHQ - Government Communications Headquarters

Director - Jeremy Fleming, reports to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Foreign Secretary Dominc Raab

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence and security organisation responsible for providing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom. Based in "The Doughnut" in the suburbs of Cheltenham, GCHQ is the responsibility of the country's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, but it is not a part of the Foreign Office and its director ranks as a Permanent Secretary.  GCHQ was originally established after the First World War as the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) and was known under that name until 1946. During the Second World War it was located at Bletchley Park, where it was responsible for breaking of the German Enigma codes. Currently there are two main components of the GCHQ, the Composite Signals Organisation (CSO), which is responsible for gathering information, and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is responsible for securing the UK's own communications.

GCHQ is led by the Director of GCHQ, currently Jeremy Fleming, and a Corporate Board, made up of executive and non-executive directors. Reporting to the Corporate Board is:​

 ​​​​​​​​​
  • Sigint missions: comprising maths and cryptanalysis, IT and computer systems, linguistics and translation, and the intelligence analysis unit

  • Enterprise: comprising applied research and emerging technologies, corporate knowledge and information systems, commercial supplier relationships, and biometrics

  • Corporate management: enterprise resource planning, human resources, internal audit, and architecture

  • Communications-Electronics Security Group​​

DIS - Defence Intelligence Staff

Lieutenant-General James Hockenhull, reports to Ministry of Defence and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace

Defence Intelligence (DI) is an organisation within the United Kingdom intelligence community which focuses on gathering and analysing military intelligence. It differs from the UK's intelligence agencies (MI6, GCHQ and MI5) in that it is not a stand-alone organisation, but is an integral part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The organisation employs a mixture of civilian and military staff and is funded within the UK's defence budget. The organisation was formerly known as the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), but changed its name in 2009.

 

The primary role of Defence Intelligence is that of 'all-source' intelligence analysis. This discipline draws information from a variety of overt and covert sources to provide the intelligence needed to support military operations, contingency planning, and to inform defence policy and procurement decisions. The maintenance of the ability to give timely strategic warning of politico-military and scientific and technical developments with the potential to affect UK interests is a vital part of the process. DI's assessments are used outside the MoD to support the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and to assist the work of other Government departments (OGDs) and international partners (such as NATO and the European Union). It is this 'all-source' function which distinguishes Defence Intelligence from other organisations such as SIS and GCHQ which focus on the collection of 'single-source' Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) respectively. As such Defence Intelligence occupies a unique position within the UK intelligence community.  Defence Intelligence also performs an intelligence collection function, primarily through the military capabilities lodged within the Joint Forces Intelligence Group (created in 2012 from what was formerly known as the Intelligence Collection Group or ICG).

Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)

Chair - Simon Gass

 

The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) is an interagency deliberative body responsible for intelligence assessment, coordination and oversight of the Secret Intelligence Service, Security Service, GCHQ and Defence Intelligence. The JIC is supported by the Joint Intelligence Organisation under the Cabinet Office.

The JIC is responsible for:

  • assessing events and situations relating to external affairs, defence, terrorism, major international criminal activity, scientific, technical and international economic matters and other transnational issues, drawing on secret intelligence, diplomatic reporting and open source material

  • to monitor and give early warning of the development of direct and indirect threats and opportunities in those fields to British interests or policies and to the international community as a whole

  • to keep under review threats to security at home and overseas and to deal with such security problems as may be referred to it

  • to contribute to the formulation of statements of the requirements and priorities for intelligence gathering and other tasks to be conducted by the intelligence agencies

  • to maintain oversight of the intelligence community’s analytical capability through the Professional Head of Intelligence Analysis

  • to maintain liaison with Commonwealth and foreign intelligence organisations as appropriate, and to consider the extent to which its product can be made available to them

 

The JIC has three functions:

  • Advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers on intelligence collection and analysis priorities in support of national objectives.

  • Periodically scrutinises the performance of the Agencies in meeting the collection requirements placed upon them.

  • Assuring the professional standards of civilian intelligence analysis staff across the range of intelligence related activities in Her Majesty's Government.

 
Intelligence Reports

14 April 2020

After AI comes Quantum AI...and then what?

When Google's Sycamore effectively moved us to the next step in AI it will become one of those defining moments...but how will Quantum Artificial Intelligence affect the Intelligence World?

21 March 2020

Neurodiversity & ASD within the Secret Intelligence Services

Some have gone as far as to say that the 'diverse' represent the next step in the evolutionary process.  Maybe.  But, ignore the Neurodiverse at your peril!

12 May 2020

A Government Department of Virus Safety

A Government run, uniform and credible safety certificate to be used across the board, would benefit UK business greatly.

Wuhan conspiracy theories aside, diplomatic traction is the reward.

 

A week or two ago we wrote an article "Conspiracies & Ripples" which focused primarily on conspiracy theories and kicked off with the rather obvious statement that a conspiracy theory is simply a theory without the facts i.e. just a theory.  Within that we highlighted that ‘flavour of the month’ theorist’s delight, the origins of the Coronavirus and its links to Wuhan.  This echoed our views published in February which, as many did, ponder the chances of this remote coincidence maybe actually being true.  Since then there have been swathes of articles on the topic citing all sort of sources and from numerous ‘renowned’ scientists.  We have also recently had the opinions offered by those whose opinions really count, that this virus originating from the labs in Wuhan may not actually be so far-fetched after all.

We do tend to agree, or at least we did.  That was then and this is now and in the world of Politics things move quickly and one does have to look at the reality of the situation.  If there is enough fog between you and your destination, then sometimes the route you take can change, leaving you all sorts of options.  If the objective was originally to circumnavigate through uncertain waters to establish who, what, why and when the virus came about – then that is now lost in the fog.  It is arbitrary.  Now we have something that is far more concrete and tangible to use to our advantage – we have uncertainty.  We now have enough debate and conspiracy to render the findings of the scientists open to interpretation.  And that… is a diplomat’s dream come true.   This particular carcass will feed many and although the WHO will go in, on the ground, and no doubt find yet more uncertainty…it really is irrelevant.  You will certainly not find individual government’s chomping at the bit to send their representatives into Wuhan anytime soon, and even if they did, why?  Wuhan is not some sleepy suburb in leafy Northamptonshire… it is in China.  Whatever was there has long gone, if indeed it was ever even there.  So perhaps it would be wise to assume that at least for the next few decades this is a conspiracy that will never find out those salient facts. 

Now, listening to the scientists, there is an overwhelming urge to say, “shush now”.  Step back ladies and gentlemen and look at the bigger picture at play.  Nobody is actually interested whether or not the virus started in Wuhan, intentionally or not.  As long as it is open to debate, it is far more valuable.  The scientists have debated at length and argued, but there is still no unequivocal proof either way that satisfies all parties…and why could that be?  Scientific fact is not open to debate or questioning, that is a given.  However, to say Science is correct, is not true.  That is because Science has Scientists, and Scientists are human beings who in turn are fallible and motivated by many many other factors.  In China for example, one might say that scientific fact is exactly what they want it to be.  Indeed, who is to say it ends in China.

 

So why is uncertainty such a blessing in this case?  It provides an additional bargaining chip and a weapon in the armoury for all Governments to now use against the Chinese.  Maybe on the other side of the fence their own initial conspiracy theory that a foreign Government (the US) planted the virus in their midst, is being written about in their own press.  Or maybe not. The fact is it is a safe bet to assume that no body will ever know.  There will be no compensations or admissions of guilt in this case sadly…however the capillaceous network that is politics, diplomacy and economic negotiations will be the real beneficiaries.

uber2 - Copy.png

Disclaimer

The secretintelligenceservice.co.uk (Secret Intelligence Services) website is available for your personal use and viewing. Access and use by you of this site constitutes acceptance by you of these Terms and Conditions that take effect from the date of first use. You agree to use this website only for lawful purposes, and in a manner that does not infringe the rights of, or restrict or inhibit the use and enjoyment of this site, by any other third party.​ Please read the Terms and Conditions and GDPR & Privacy Policy carefully before using the Site as they affect your rights and liabilities under the law. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions please do not register for or use the Site or coninue to use it as continued use will be an indication of your agreement to our Terms and Conditions.  In these Terms and Conditions and in our Privacy Policy "we ", "us" and "our" means by secretintelligenceservice.co.uk (SISS) and "you" means the individual who is using the Site.  Any questions concerning our use of Company or Government logos and graphics which are publicly accessible, please refer to our policy on 'Fair Use' as defined in UK Copyright Law, specifically  Sections 29 and 30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and our acknowledgement of sources.  The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) otherwise known as MI6 works secretly overseas, developing foreign contacts and sources of intelligence to make the UK a more prosperous and safer place. It works worldwide to counter terrorism, resolve international conflict and help stop the spread of nuclear and other non-conventional weapons.  Secret Intelligence Services (the 'SIte') is concerned with Information Collection and Analysis of UK and Foreign Secret Intelligence Organisations. Our goal is to identify historical facts, news and  innovation about Intelligence in general although our focus is primarily on UK and Western Organisations.  Secret Intelligence Services (the 'site') is not connected to any Government Organisation calling itself a Secret Intelligence Service.  Please take the time to read our terms and conditions.