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An intelligence agency is a
government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government The machinery of government (sometimes abbreviated as MoG) is the interconnected structures and proce ...
responsible for the collection,
analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composit ...
, and exploitation of information in support of
law enforcement 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterrence (legal), deterring, rehabilitation (penology), rehabilitating, or punishment, punishing people who viol ...
,
national security National security or national defence is the security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics ...
,
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...

military
, and
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
objectives. Means of information gathering are both overt and covert and may include
espionage Espionage or spying is the act of obtaining secret Secrecy is the practice of hiding information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both it ...

espionage
, communication interception,
cryptanalysis Cryptanalysis (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...
, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public sources. The assembly and propagation of this information is known as
intelligence analysis Intelligence analysis is the application of individual and collective cognitive methods to weigh data and test hypotheses within a secret socio-cultural context. The descriptions are drawn from what may only be available in the form of deliberate ...
or
intelligence assessment Intelligence assessment is the development of behavior forecasts or recommended courses of action to the leadership of an organisation, based on wide ranges of available overt and covert information Information is processed, organised and ...
. Intelligence agencies can provide the following services for their national governments. * Give early warning of impending crisis; * Serve national and international
crisis management Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders. The study of crisis management originated with large-scale industrial and environ ...
by helping to discern the intentions of current or potential opponents; * Inform national defense planning and
military operation A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and ...
s ( military intelligence); * Protect sensitive information secrets, both of their own sources and activities, and those of other state agencies; * Covertly influence the outcome of events in favor of
national interest National Interest is a rationality of governing referring to a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by som ...
s, or influence
international security International security, also called global security, is a term which refers to the measures taken by states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department ...
; and * Defense against the efforts of other national intelligence agencies (
counter-intelligence Counterintelligence is an activity aimed at protecting an agency's intelligence program from an opposition's intelligence service. It includes gathering information and conducting activities to prevent espionage Espionage or spying is the ...
). There is a distinction between "security intelligence" and "foreign intelligence". Security intelligence pertains to domestic threats (e.g.,
terrorism Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the ...
, espionage). Foreign intelligence involves information collection relating to the political, or economic activities of foreign states. Some agencies have been involved in
assassination Assassination is the act of murder, deliberately killing a prominent or important person, such as heads of state, head of government, heads of government, politicians, Monarchy, royalty, celebrity, celebrities, journalists, or CEOs. An assassin ...

assassination
,
arms trafficking Arms trafficking or gunrunning is the illicit trade of contraband small arms A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual. The term is legally defined further in different countries (see #Legal_definit ...
, coups d'état, and the placement of misinformation (
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
) as well as other
covert Secrecy is the practice of hiding information from certain individuals or groups who do not have the "need to know", perhaps while sharing it with other individuals. That which is kept hidden is known as the secret. Secrecy is often controve ...
and
clandestine operations A clandestine operation is an intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and p ...
, in order to support their own or their governments' interests.


See also

*
Intelligence officer An intelligence officer is a person employed by an organization to collect, compile or analyze information (known as intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, lea ...
*
List of intelligence agencies This is a list of intelligence agencies by country. It includes only currently operational institutions. An intelligence agency is a government agency responsible for the collection, Intelligence analysis, analysis, and exploitation of informat ...
*
List of defunct intelligence agencies This is a list of defunct intelligence agencies An intelligence agency is a government agency responsible for the collection, Intelligence analysis, analysis, and exploitation of information in support of law enforcement, national security, milit ...
*
List of intelligence gathering disciplines This is a list of intelligence gathering disciplines. HUMINT Human intelligence (HUMINT) are gathered from a person in the location in question. Sources can include the following: * Advisors or foreign internal defense Foreign intern ...
*
Security agency A security agency is a governmental organization A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administra ...
*
Secret police Secret police (or political police) are Intelligence agency, intelligence, Security agency, security or police agencies that engage in covert operations against a government's political opponents and dissidents. Secret police organizations are cha ...
*
Secret service A secret service is a government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of spec ...

Secret service
* Counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism organizations


Further reading

Books * ''Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security'', hrg. von K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 3 Bände, Detroit .a.: Gale .a. 2004 * Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, ''Cloak and Dollar: A History of American Secret Intelligence'', Yale University Press, 2002 * Richard C. S. Trahair, ''Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations'', Westport, Conn. .a.: Greenwood Press, 2004 * Amy B. Zegart, ''Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC'', Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 1999 Journals * ''The Journal of Intelligence History'' Reports * Ruiz, Victor H., 2010. "A Knowledge Taxonomy for Army Intelligence Training: An Assessment of the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leaders Course Using Lundvall's Knowledge Taxonomy". Applied Research Projects.
Texas State University Texas State University is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Co ...
Paper 331
Txstate.edu


References


External links


Proposal for a Privacy Protection Guideline on Secret Personal Data Gathering and Transborder Flows of Such Data in the Fight against Terrorism and Serious Crime by Marcel Stuessi

The Literature of Intelligence: A Bibliography of Materials, with Essays, Reviews, and Comments

International Intelligence History Association

Rüdiger Bergien: ''Intelligence History''
version: 1.0, in: Docupedia Zeitgeschichte, 3rd august 2021 {{Authority control