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.