Intelligence service

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An intelligence service or secret service is an organization , usually an authority , that collects and evaluates information using intelligence means . The information should serve to gain knowledge (e.g. in the fields of politics, economy, military, science and technology) in which the client (usually governments ) is interested.

While foreign intelligence services collect information from and about other countries, domestic intelligence services take care of counter- espionage , the protection of the constitution and the fight against terrorism in their own country. The task can also be to participate in security protection . Furthermore, a distinction is made between civil and military secret services . While the terms intelligence service and secret service are often equated in everyday language usage, the latter often only refers to services that also carry out active measures , for example to influence. To differentiate between news services in the sense of news and press agencies , the term secret news services is also used in some cases .

As far as their organization and powers are concerned, intelligence and secret services are structured quite differently in the various states. It is of considerable importance whether the intelligence service, for its information acquisition and evaluation, responds to voluntary, possibly deceptive information from respondents ( HUMINT ), the collection of freely available data ( OSINT ) and geodata ( GEOINT ) as well as the technical monitoring of postal and telecommunications traffic ( SIGINT ), or whether he is allowed to carry out covert operations or even police powers in order to research a fact . Espionage operations are also known as cases . The case processing and case management is performed by a case guide . Some intelligence services also have paramilitary departments to carry out commando operations , such as B. the civil US American foreign intelligence service Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). If the task of a secret service is to suppress its own population and, in particular, political opponents, it is a secret police .

Duties and powers

The existence of secret and intelligence services is based on the idea of reasons of state and serves to protect the state .

The term state protection includes all measures that serve to protect the state organs and the internal and external existence of the state and its institutions.

Typical tasks are:

  • Obtaining knowledge about foreign countries that are of importance in terms of foreign , security and defense policy,
  • Obtaining (military) economic knowledge
  • Defense against security-endangering or secret service activities by a foreign power
  • Gathering and evaluating information about efforts that are directed against the existence or the security of the state or that aim to unlawfully interfere with the administration of state organs
  • Participation in the security check of persons (of persons carrying secrets or persons who are deployed in security-sensitive areas of vital or important facilities) or technical security measures (e.g. securing telecommunications or courier traffic)

The area of ​​responsibility is divided into the area of ​​collecting information and evaluating it. The purpose is to gain knowledge. Most (foreign) intelligence services maintain residencies abroad in order to fulfill their tasks . Legal resident members are often accredited to embassies in order to gain diplomatic status . Often there is a collaboration with the military attaché or the press attaché of the embassy .

Collection of information

To fulfill the tasks, intelligence services are used and personal data is collected, processed and used, relevant information and messages are obtained and documents are evaluated. Information can be obtained by skimming publicly accessible sources (e.g. press and radio reports ) or non-open sources. Intelligence tools are similar among the different intelligence services. They differ in the focus, so z. B. in the preference of human sources, which are "conducted" and "skimmed off" in the context of operational reconnaissance, in contrast to technical reconnaissance, in which non-open factual sources are obtained through technical processes. Another possible differentiation lies in the choice of agent quality. So you can put an emphasis on the quantity, which leads to a decrease in quality. For example, the financial framework of the CIA is wider than that of the BND , which has a direct impact on the results of the work.

The educational work of an intelligence service begins with the demand for information (clarification demand) by the consumer. Intermediate steps follow (clarification and procurement) until the results are passed on to the consumer.

Awareness cycle

There can be the following main phases in the educational work:

  • Order (planning, instruction)
  • Procurement (procurement, transmission)
  • Processing (viewing, registration, evaluation, compilation, evaluation)
  • Distribution (immediate use, distribution to other consumers).

These phases are not always clearly delimited and do not always have to take place in the given order.

Clarification request

There is a general and a special demand for information. The former defines the broad scope of awareness-raising skills. It is constantly updated, renewed and supplemented. Special information demands of the consumer cover ad hoc gaps. In principle, data is also collected that is useful to the intelligence service itself.


Sources can be distinguished in factual sources and human sources. Sources are the procurement funds, e.g. B. agents, sources, informants or radio intelligence. Sources are broken down and cataloged according to their suitability for procurement operations. Transmitting agencies are not referred to as sources, so newspapers often only forward agency reports. Sources are often hard to find, and often even harder to take full advantage of. Sources can be classified as follows:

  • Occasional sources: Sources that provide information occasionally or even once. The information is sometimes valuable, but more difficult to work with. The information gathered includes conferences, contracts , trade talks, major maneuvers, and the development of new weapons of war .
  • Restricted sources: Used without the knowledge or against the will of a foreign power. Non-open sources are primarily human sources and documents that are secret or only accessible to a limited group of people. They must be protected against exposure by security measures.
  • Open sources: Sources of which, in principle, an unlimited group of people have the not too distant possibility to take note (newspapers, magazines, radio programs, conferences, websites, etc.). Most of the information comes from open sources.
  • Primary sources : information is obtained directly and in the original. This includes direct observations and statements by responsible persons (e.g. political leaders, lawyers, intellectuals). In times of war this includes loot papers, censorship results, questioning prisoners of war and photo reconnaissance.
  • Regular Sources: Sources that provide information regularly or repeatedly. The use of the information material can be standardized. You have the advantage of knowing the reliability of the source.
  • Secondary sources : Information from secondary sources is partially assessed, summarized, revised or worked out. This includes most books, studies, and reports. Secondary sources are no less valuable than primary sources, especially because they represent the largest part of the source material, but an attempt should be made to use as many primary sources as possible.

With regard to the procurement principles, it should be said that the recording should be complete and, if advised, uninterrupted. All information must be evaluated with regard to the reliability of the source and the likelihood of the content. All information must be passed on in a suitable form and with the necessary speed.

The BND distinguishes between:

  • Penetration sources ( agent reaches the target object)
  • Travel sources (use of the agent supra-local)
  • Sources of verification (military objects are controlled from outside).

The BND also distinguishes:

  1. External source: It is an operationally detained source without access to classified information. Methods of the source are conversation education and observation .
  2. Indoor source: It is an operationally trained source. It has direct access to the decision-making and planning area of ​​the target object. The source is managed conspiratorially .

In HUMINT is human sources. This includes, for example, questioning prisoners of war and defectors. Defectors are people who have left the foreign sphere of influence in order to deliver secret information to the Federal Republic of Germany . The aim of the service is now to bring the defector back to the target country in order to use him there as an internal source.

Agent advertising is done in steps. First, you type, i.e. a possible suitability for the intelligence work is determined. If you are interested, an environmental research will be carried out. Contact research follows. If there is still interest afterwards, a plan for the actual advertising is drawn up and this is then implemented.

When it comes to agent recruitment types, a distinction can be made between cold recruitment and warm recruitment. With the former, the address is given directly, without much preparatory work. With the latter, the own contact person is played out to the target person, who slowly builds up a relationship of trust. Once this has happened, an attempt at advertising can be carried out.

Agent categories : In principle, a distinction can be made between source and procurement assistant. The source provides the information, the procurement assistant is responsible for auxiliary tasks relating to advertising and the use of sources. The most important task is the courier system (liaison system).

Training Agents are trained conspiratorially and individually.

Contents are:

SIGINT ( Signals Intelligence ) means: Obtaining information through access to external communication links, radar and data transmission, but also device broadcasts. SIGINT provides timely and accurate data that can be used to identify and locate the opponent, and the current and future actions of the opponent can be inferred. With SIGINT the opponent's C2 system can be penetrated. The basic restrictions of SIGINT are that the opponent must first send out data, and one's own forces must first be able to gain access to the programs. This could e.g. B. be made more difficult by radio relay and encryption.

IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) means: Acquisition of information through image systems (optical, radar, infrared). In use, IMINT is limited by the amount of time it takes to obtain, process, and analyze the results. That is why good organization is required to deliver the results on time. IMINT is often limited by the weather, defensive measures, and the enemy's camouflage and deception measures. IMINT is a generic term for photographic intelligence (PHOTINT) and satellite intelligence (SATINT)

Evaluation of the information

The evaluation is divided into message evaluation, message decomposition, message interpretation, presentation of the findings and finally message distribution. The news rating classifies the news source and news content according to reliability and truthfulness. The scheme of assessment will normally be standardized. If it is still possible to draw conclusions about the source, the scheme can change constantly for security reasons. Message decomposition deals with the viewing, sorting and analysis of messages. The resulting partial messages are assigned to specific reconnaissance objectives. Message interpretation deals with the comparison of the messages and represents the first step in the message interpretation (interpretation). With the message interpretation, existing knowledge can then be confirmed or not confirmed. The presentation of the findings serves to manage the situation. Situation management has a warning function. When the message is distributed, the messages are passed on to the consumers. Since the product is often secret, the need-to-know principle is used here.

Evaluation is the activity that converts information into clarification results (findings).

Information will:

  • judged according to duration of validity, content reliability and accuracy
  • analyzed to isolate significant elements
  • integrated with other relevant information
  • interpreted to come to logical conclusions while taking into account the current situation
  • applied to possible consequences estimate
  • brought into a form that is useful for the consumer.


After the clarification result has been drawn up, it must be communicated to all interested and authorized bodies. The appropriate form and detail of the clarification result are part of the distribution. It has to be complete, accurate, and on time. Each report is given the lowest level of confidentiality that is reasonable. Consumers must also be informed regularly if there are no changes in an area. When writing a report, attention should be paid to scope, logical arrangement, clarity, style and factuality.

Secrecy, security

A distinction is made between personal and material security . A security check is carried out on people and is repeated from time to time. Objects of material security are locks, secure registries and many other things.


Open material (opposite: not open material) is easily accessible ( public ) and easily accessible. Useful are:

  • Address books
  • Timetables
  • Manuals
  • Maps
  • Postcards
  • Travel guides
  • Radio, television
  • technical literature
  • Telephone books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers.

If there are gaps in information, non-open material must be used.

In contrast to open material, non-open material is more difficult to obtain. Non-open material does not have to be secret, as the example of wiretapping commercial communications satellites shows. Principles in the procurement of non-open material are capacity issues and associated risk.

Classified classification

There are four degrees of secrecy in Germany . They are: VS-ONLY FOR SERVICE USE , VS-CONFIDENTIAL , GEHEIM and STRENG GEHEIM (§ 4 SÜG ). The higher the classification of classified information , the more restricted the circulation.

Need to know

The need-to-know principle states that each person is only given the information that they really only need for their work. Employees receive security notices that give them access to certain levels of classified information. Distribution keys can also be used, which further restrict access.

If the need-to-know rule is applied too strictly, this can lead to a serious lack of information. If it is used too easily, the secret material will be devalued.

The corresponding second principle is that of knowledge diffusion. There is a strict division of labor , so that the employees only know a small part of the overall task.


Set of means, methods and forces for a secure connection to the agent.

Connection types are:

The most risky but most efficient type of connection is the meeting. Here the security measures are of the utmost importance. Meeting points are:

Locations with a lot of public traffic are suitable for so-called lightning contacts. These are therefore difficult to monitor. Pedestrian underpasses or public toilets are suitable .


Possible organizational units are (not completely):

State control

In constitutional states, intelligence services are subject to specialist and legal supervision by their superior departments, because intelligence services, like all state power, are bound by law. As a result of their covert working methods and the frequent lively interest of government agencies in obtaining information, supervision by the executive authorities themselves is often not considered sufficient, so that control is often supplemented by parliamentary bodies. In addition to unconstitutional interference in the rights of citizens , these are also intended to prevent the government currently in office from being able to make use of the services offered.

Critics claim that due to the nature of an intelligence service, parliamentary and judicial control is only possible to a limited extent or is easy to circumvent.

To control the federal intelligence services in Germany, see: Federal intelligence services

Intelligence services from different countries

European Union

At the EU level there is the “nucleus” of an intelligence service that was established in the course of the expansion of the common foreign and security policy and the European External Action Service . This agency, which is part of the service, still collects information from all EU member states and is still dependent on the sources of the member states, so it functions as a fusion center .

The seat of EU Intelligence and Situation Center , the Avenue Cortenbergh in Brussels .

German-speaking area


German Empire

A factual separation of the tasks of intelligence services and secret police already existed earlier. So were z. In the Third Reich, for example, the Foreign / Defense Office and the Secret Field Police (GeFePo) were located in the division of the High Command of the Wehrmacht and the Reich Main Security Office in the SS (see Gestapo , Security Service ). (For the past in the Third Reich, see also Foreign Armies East .)

Federal Republic
BND headquarters in Berlin ,
headquarters since 2019

In Germany exist with

three federal intelligence services .

Furthermore, state authorities for the protection of the constitution have been set up as domestic intelligence services in each of the 16 federal states . This means that there are 19 official intelligence services in Germany. The Federal Office for Information Security , the Customs Criminal Police Office and the IKTZ of the Federal Police perform tasks that are the responsibility of the intelligence services in other countries.

In the Bundeswehr , command area 2, "Military Intelligence", deals with the emergence of reconnaissance results. The following military means are available for this: Electronic warfare (EloKa), drones, and field intelligence and remote surveillance troops .

In order to prevent secret police apparatuses like those in the National Socialist German Reich or the GDR , today's German intelligence services are not allowed to take any executive measures under police law against citizens, according to the separation requirement between police and intelligence services .

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the intelligence services at the federal level are monitored in particular by the parliamentary control body . Corresponding supervisory bodies exist in the federal states.

The German intelligence services work closely with foreign intelligence services, especially within the EU and NATO . The secret agreement between Germany and the United States, which had existed since 1969, on mutual intelligence cooperation in the rank of administrative ordinance, was terminated in 2013 under the then Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle under the impression of the global surveillance and espionage affair.


The largest secret service apparatus in the GDR was the Ministry for State Security with its subdivisions for domestic and foreign espionage. The foreign espionage operated the largely independent Head Office of Intelligence (HVA) .

The intelligence administration was nominally independent from the Ministry of State Security, the military intelligence service of the National People's Army . She reported directly to the main staff of the NVA.


In Austria there are several authorities that carry out intelligence activities:


In Switzerland two intelligence services exist:

  • Military Intelligence Service (MND)
  • Federal Intelligence Service NDB (formerly Strategic Intelligence Service (SND) and Service for Analysis and Prevention (DAP))

Other countries


The Belgian Veiligheid van de Staat or Sûreté de l'État (VVDS for short) is the oldest still existing secret service in the world. Founded in 1830, only the Vatican State maintains an older and clerical intelligence unit. The civil VVDS is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice, while the military Algemene Dienst Inlichting en Veiligheid (ADIV) or Service Général du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (SGRS) is assigned to the Ministry of Defense.


Denmark's secret services are the military secret service Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE) and the domestic police secret service Politiets Efterretningstjeneste (PET). The PET is primarily responsible for investigating crimes that fall under Chapters 12 and 13 of the Danish Penal Code, namely “crimes against state security and sovereignty” and “crimes against the constitution, the highest state organs, etc. a. ". In practice this means that the main tasks of the PET are counter-espionage as well as the fight against terrorism and extremism. In January 2010, the PET uncovered the background to an attempted attack against the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard . Westergaard drew the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed , which many Muslims consider blasphemy . In 2012, it became known that PET agent Morten Storm was infiltrating al-Qaeda and that the CIA was helping the CIA to locate Anwar al-Awlaki .



The Ethnikí Ypiresía Pliroforión (EYP) , also known under its English-language name National Intelligence Service (NIS) , is the civil domestic and foreign intelligence service in Greece .

There is also the Diakladiki Dievthynsi Stratiotikon Pliroforion (DDPS) (English Joint Directorate of Military Intelligence ) of the Greek armed forces , which is the Greek military secret service.


Israel has the Mossad foreign intelligence service , the Shin Bet domestic intelligence service and the Agaf ha-Modi'in military intelligence service . There was also the Lakam (no longer active), whose job it was to support and protect the Israeli nuclear weapon building program.


In Italy, the Prime Minister has been directly responsible for the intelligence services since 2007 and defines their operational priorities in cooperation with an inter-ministerial steering committee (CISR). The subordinate to the head of government

coordinates the work of the two services:

There is also the military specialist service (J2) based at the General Staff

The intelligence services have been controlled by a special parliamentary committee since 1977.


There are several intelligence organizations in Japan that are subordinate to different authorities. The Naikaku Jōhō Chōsashitsu (English Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office ) of the Cabinet Secretariat , the Kōanchōsa-chō (English Public Security Intelligence Agency ) of the Ministry of Justice for the supervision of "subversive" organizations and the Jōhō-hombu ( 情報 本部 , English Defense Intelligence Headquarters ) of the Ministry of Defense , act relatively independently. A close part of the bureaucracy of the respective ministries is the Kokusai Jōhō Tōkatsukan ( 国際 情報 統 括 官 組織 , English Intelligence and Analysis Service ) of the Foreign Ministry for foreign affairs, the Gaiji-Jōhō-bu ( 外事 情報 部 , English Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Division ) of the National Police Department for Internal Affairs, as well as - but not intelligence organizations in the narrower sense - the JETRO of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry , which is said to be industrial espionage .


Colombia's intelligence service is the Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia (DNI).


In Luxembourg , the Service de Renseignement de l'État is Luxembourg's intelligence service. This was restructured in 2004 under the impression of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the USA.

Its purpose is to collect and analyze information in order to prevent a threat to the Luxembourg territory, its allies or international institutions based in Luxembourg. This also includes the endangerment of critical infrastructure, in particular the energy and water supply, road traffic and information technology.


In the Netherlands there is a military intelligence service Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (MIVD) and a civil Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD), until 2002: Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD). The renaming of the civil intelligence service went hand in hand with an expansion of its tasks. The AIVD is obliged to provide information to affected citizens, provided that this does not endanger ongoing investigations. The two secret services are supported by the Signit organization Joint Sigint Cyber ​​Unit (JSCU). In 2014, this replaced the National Signals Intelligence Organization (NSO) founded in 2002 .


The Norsk Etterretningstjeneste (German: Norwegian Intelligence Service) is the military and civilian intelligence service of Norway . Organizationally, it is affiliated with the Norwegian armed forces and is also active abroad. The service operates extensive SIGNIT activities within the framework of NATO. The police is the Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste , PST (Police Security Service) active as a domestic intelligence service. Its responsibilities include counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, organized crime and extremism.

East Timor



See: Serviço de Informações Estratégicas de Defesa and Sistema de Informações da República Portuguesa


Lubyanka has been the secret service headquarters in Moscow since 1920

The Russian domestic secret service is the Federalnaja Sluschba Besopasnosti (FSB), the foreign secret service of the Slushba vneschnei raswedki (SWR). Both emerged from the Gossudarstwennoy Besopasnosti Comitet (KGB). The ever since the First World War existing but largely unknown foreign intelligence and military intelligence of the Armed Forces is the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).


In Sweden , in addition to the domestic secret service Säkerhetspolisen (SÄPO, "Security Police "), there are two others with the Militära underrättelse- och säkerhetstjänsten (MUST, "Military Intelligence and Security Service") and the Försvarets radioanstalt (FRA, "Radio facility for national defense"). intelligence services reporting directly to the Ministry of Defense.


Centro Nacional de Inteligencia is the successor to the Centro Superior de Información de la Defensa (CESID),launched in November 2002.

Czech Republic

The Czech civil domestic intelligence service is Bezpečnostní informační služba (BIS) and the civil foreign intelligence service is Úřad pro zahraniční styky a informace (ÚZSI). The Czech Armed Forces have the Vojenské zpravodajství military intelligence service .


Millî İstihbarat Teşkilâtı (MIT), is the Turkish domestic intelligence service founded on November 13, 1913.

In order to accomplish its tasks, MIT has not only the right to unrestricted access to all state information but also full police authority, which fundamentally distinguishes its authorizations from the German intelligence services (BND, BfV), which have no police rights.

In addition, with the permission of the Prime Minister, MIT is also allowed to prosecute crimes outside its area of ​​responsibility.


Hungary's domestic secret service is the Alkotmányvédelmi Hivatal (AH, German: “Office for the Protection of the Constitution”) (2010), the foreign intelligence service is the Információs Hivatal (IH, German: “Information Office”) (1990, Reform 2010), the military service for counter-espionage and the like. Foreign news in the military is Katonai Nemzetbiztonsági Szolgálat (KNBSZ, German: "Military Service for National Security") (2012).

United States

The US intelligence system is highly fragmented. In 2007, a total of ten individual services and five intelligence departments shared responsibilities between the police and the authorities. The numerous services together form the United States Intelligence Community (German "US intelligence community ").

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley.
  1. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an intelligence service for active, agent-based espionage ( human intelligence ) abroad.
  2. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reports directly to the Ministry of Defense and coordinates the work and evaluates the findings of four of the five intelligence services of the armed forces :
    1. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (Air Force ISR Agency), the intelligence service of the United States Air Force (Air Force).
    2. Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA), the intelligence service of the United States Marine Corps (Marine Infantry),
    3. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the intelligence service of the United States Navy (Navy),
    4. United States Army Intelligence (USAI), the intelligence service of the United States Army (Army),
  3. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) compiles maps and images for use by the intelligence service and also evaluates them for the various secret services,
  4. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), manages the access of the individual intelligence services to the spy satellites under its control ,
  5. The National Security Agency (NSA) is the largest intelligence agency in the world by budget. Your main tasks are in signals intelligence (dt. "Electronic signal reconnaissance"), in the research and implementation of cryptography and cryptanalysis , as well as in ensuring information security .

The United States Coast Guard Intelligence , the intelligence service of the United States Coast Guard (Coast Guard), reports to the Department of Homeland Security , but belongs to the armed forces.

Intelligence departments of authorities are:

  1. The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), the “Office for Intelligence and Research”, is the intelligence department of the State Department . Like the military DIA, it only evaluates information, but does not procure its own information.
  2. The Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA), through its Office of National Security Intelligence (formerly the Intelligence Division ), conducts intelligence that can be used to prosecute drug-related crimes and prevent drugs from entering the United States are.
  3. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) performs intelligence duties within the National Security Branch (NSB). This brings together the Counterterrorism Division (German “Department of Counter-Terrorism”), the Counterintelligence Division (German “Department for Counter-Espionage”) and the old Directorate of Intelligence (German “Department for Intelligence”).
  4. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA), the "Office for News and Analysis", is the intelligence department of the Treasury .
  5. The Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is the intelligence division of the Department of Energy .

The budget of the United States' intelligence agencies was first published in 2010. Between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010, the combined total of all services was approximately $ 80 billion.

United Kingdom

In the UK there is the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). It is the British foreign intelligence service, which also operates under the name MI6 (Military Intelligence, Department Six) or Secret Service .

The Security Service or MI5 (Military Intelligence, Division five) is responsible for the domestic market.

In the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham there is an intelligence service that only deals with electronic reconnaissance (ELINT).

The military intelligence service, DI ( Defense Intelligence ), is subordinate to the Ministry of Defense . Most of the staff comes from the three branches of service, the Royal Navy , Royal Air Force and British Army . Its task is to collect and process historical, geological, political, military and socio-structural as well as cultural information on possible areas of operation of the armed forces of the United Kingdom . The DI works closely with the other secret services.

Other news services in short

country Abbreviation full name
Afghanistan NDS National Security Directorate
Egypt GIS Jihaz al-Mukhabarat al-Amma (General Intelligence Service)
Canada CSIS Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Australia ASIS Australian Secret Intelligence Service
Brazil ABIN Agência Brasileira de Inteligência
Bulgaria NSS Natsionalna Sluzhba za Sigurnost
NIS Natsionalna Informatsionna Sluzhba Pri Ministerkiya Savet
Chile ANI Agencia Nacional de Inteligencia
Estonia KaPo Kaitsepolitseiamet (domestic)
Välisluureamet (abroad)
Finland SUPO Suojelupoliisi
France BRENS Brigade de renseignement
DCRI Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur
DRM Direction du Renseignement Militaire
DGSE Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure
India RAW Research and Analysis Wing
IB Intelligence Bureau
CBI Central Bureau of Investigation
NIA "National Investigation Agency"
Iran VAJA (formerly VEVAK) Wezārat-e Ettelāʿat Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān
Israel   Mossad Hamossad Lemodi'in Uletafkidim Meyuchadim ("Institute for Enlightenment and Special Tasks")
Libya JSO Amn Al-Jamahiriya , Jamahiriya Security Organization
Lithuania   Valstybės saugumo departamentas , Specialiųjų tyrimų tarnyba, KAM II Operatyvinių tyrimų departamentas ( antrukai )
Namibia NCIS Namibia Central Intelligence Service
Norway PST Politiets Sikkerhets Tjeneste
Pakistan ISI Inter-Services Intelligence
Poland ABW Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnetrznego
AW Agencja Wywiadu
SWW Służba Wywiadu Wojskowego
SKW Służba Kontrwywiadu Wojskowego
Portugal SIR Serviço de Informações de Segurança
Romania SHE Serviciul de Informații External
SRI Serviciul Român de Informații
Saudi Arabia GID Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah As'Saudia or General Intelligence Directorate
Slovakia SIS Slovenská informačná služba
VSS Vojenská spravodajská služba
Syria DSS National Security Bureau of the Ba'ath Party in Syria (coordinates the following secret services)

Air Force Secret Service (most prominent secret service in Syria)

General Security Directorate
Military Reconnaissance
Department Political Security Department

Spain DSE Dirección de Seguridad del Estado
Czech Republic TO Bezpečnostní informační služba ("Security Information Service")
ÚZSI Úřad pro zahraniční styky a informace
VZ Vojenské zpravodajství
Ukraine SBU Slushba bespeky Ukrajiny
Vietnam TC2 Tổng cục 2 tình báo quân đội
Cyprus KYP Kentriki Ypiresia Pliroforion (Κεντρική Υπηρεσία Πληροφοριών / Central Intelligence Service - Internal Intelligence Service)

Intelligence services in dictatorships

In dictatorships in particular , secret services are an important power factor for maintaining the existing basic relationships of rule, ownership and privileges, if necessary, also illegally or supra-legal. Their task includes tracking down, deliberately influencing behavior that is at least on the verge of legality and intimidating political or system opponents up to the murder of unpleasant opponents and the deliberate manipulation of public opinion . In South America in particular, attacks were carried out by secret services, which were then blamed on political opponents in order to discredit them; In Spain, various bomb attacks carried out by the domestic secret service were wrongly assigned to the Basque terror and liberation organization ETA .


Critics are of the opinion that even in democracies, despite the effective but limited parliamentary control there, the activities of the intelligence services are determined by a lack of transparency and lack of legal remedies ; Exceptions for the intelligence services would also revoke the state guarantees of fundamental rights and, in some cases, violate human and civil rights. The extent of intelligence operations is therefore difficult to estimate.

It is controversial to what extent intelligence agencies are allowed to exchange information with the police or the public prosecutor's office .

The secret services of some countries also use torture (such as waterboarding ) to obtain information.

See also


  • Christopher Andrew : The Secret World: A History of Intelligence. Yale University, New Haven 2018, ISBN 978-0-3002-3844-0 .
  • Magnus Pahl / Gorch Pieken / Matthias Rogg (eds.): Warning, spies! Secret services in Germany from 1945 to 1956. Essays , Dresden (Sandstein Verlag) 2016. ISBN 978-3-95498-210-3 .
  • Markus Holzinger: Security technology and secret services. About informal rule of law , in: Sozialwissenschaften und Berufspraxis (SuB) 36th year (2013), issue 2. pp. 199–213. Hamburg: VSA, ISBN 3-87975-862-X .
  • Jürgen W. Schmidt: Secret services in Germany: affairs, operations, people. Ludwigsfelde 2013 ISBN 978-3-933022-78-3 .
  • Dominic Hörauf: The Democratic Control of the Federal Intelligence Service - A Legal Comparison Before and After 9/11 , (Constitutional Law in Research in Practice Volume 88), Verlag Dr. Kovač, Hamburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-8300-5729-1 .
  • Loch K. Johnson (Ed.): The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence . Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York 2010, ISBN 978-0-19-537588-6 .
  • Łukasz Kamiński, Krzysztof Persak, Jens Gieseke (eds.): Handbook of the Communist Secret Services in Eastern Europe 1944–1991. Translated by Jürgen Hensel, Norbert Juraschitz and Heike Schlatterer (= Analyzes and Documents; Vol. 33), Göttingen 2009, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ISBN 978-3-525-35100-0 . ( Review ).
  • Wolfgang Krieger: History of the secret services. From the pharaohs to the CIA. Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-58387-2 (= Beck'sche series 1891).
  • Jürgen W. Schmidt (Ed.): Secret services, military and politics in Germany. 2nd edition, Ludwigsfelde 2009.
  • Hans Born, Marina Caparini: Democratic control of intelligence services , Aldershot, Ashgate 2007, ISBN 0-7546-4273-9 .
  • Wolfgang Krieger (Ed.): Secret services in world history. From antiquity to today , Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-86647-133-7 .
  • Wolbert K. Smidt: Secrecy and Transparency - Democratic Control of the Secret Services in International Comparison. Lit, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-8258-8983-8 .
  • IBP USA (Ed.): Global National Security and Intelligence Agencies Handbook . International Business Publications, 2005, ISBN 978-0-7397-9140-0 .
  • K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner (Eds.): Encyclopedia of espionage, intelligence, and security. Gale, Detroit 2004.
  • Richard CS Trahair: Encyclopedia of Cold War espionage, spies, and secret operations. Greenwood Press, Westport Conn. 2004.
  • Roewer, Helmut / Schäfer, Stefan / Uhl, Matthias: Lexicon of the secret services in the 20th century . Herbig, Munich 2003 ISBN 3-7766-2317-9 .

Web links

Wiktionary: News service  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Secret Service  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Sebastian Deliga: # briefly explained: How does the BND spy? In: . May 19, 2020, accessed May 20, 2020 .
  2. ^ Spitzer, Patrick: The intelligence services of Germany and the secret services of Russia. LIT, Münster 2011, ISBN 978-3-643-11177-7 , p. 11 f.
  3. Roewer, Helmut: Intelligence Service Law of the Federal Republic of Germany: Commentary and collection of rules for the practice of the constitution protection authorities, the Federal Intelligence Service and the Military Counter-Intelligence Service. Heymann, Cologne 1987, ISBN 3-452-20630-0 , § 3 Rn. 4th
  4. Schenke, Wolf-Rüdiger; Greyish, Kurt; Ruthig, Josef: Federal Security Law. Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-64878-6 , p. 1269 Rn. 23.
  5. Helmut R. Hammerich : "Always on the enemy!" - The Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) 1956–1990 . 1st edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht , Göttingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-525-36392-8 , pp. 137; 216; 323; 405 .
  6. Official definition from the LKA. Archived from the original on November 21, 2002 ; Retrieved June 14, 2013 .
  7. There was an agreement: the secret service agreement terminated. August 2, 2013, accessed February 23, 2020 .
  8. ^ Military intelligence services in Austria. Retrieved April 14, 2013 .
  9. Orla Borg, Carsten Ellegaard, Morten Pihl: Hvorfor står Morten Storm strange? Jyllands-Posten , October 7, 2012, accessed April 16, 2013 (Danish).
  10. Orla Borg, Carsten Ellegaard, Morten Pihl: The Double Agent Who Infiltrated Al Qaeda. The Daily Beast , February 10, 2013; archived from the original on September 2, 2013 ; accessed on April 16, 2013 .
  11. Andrew L. Oros: Japan's Growing Intelligence Capability . In: International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence . No. 15 , 2002, p. 4-16 ( PDF ). PDF ( Memento from March 20, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  12. An overview of the United States intelligence community. Handbook of Directors of National Intelligence in 2007 PDF ( Memento of 11 January 2012 at the Internet Archive )
  13. Human and civil rights violations by the secret services and the limited possibilities of political control. P. 323–340 in: Wolfgang Krieger: History of the secret services: from the pharaohs to the NSA. Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-66784-8 .
  14. ^ Wolbert K. Smidt: Fallible State Authority: Security in Contention with Ethics and Citizenship. LIT, Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-8258-1816-6
  15. Waterboarding. Spiegel Online, April 16, 2009, accessed April 17, 2009 .
  16. ^ CIA torture. Spiegel Online, April 17, 2009, accessed April 17, 2009 .
  17. Manfred Nowak: Torture: the everydayness of the incomprehensible. Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-218-00833-4 .