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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) - Glossary of intelligence
Category: Military and Defence > Intelligence
Date & country: 14/12/2007, UK
Words: 27


Agent
A covert human intelligence source who has undergone a period of assessment and whose reporting has been validated. To be distinguished from an officer (a member of staff) of SIS.

BSIS
Acronym occasionally used for SIS - British Secret Intelligence Service to distinguish us from others with similar acronyms - CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service) and NZSIS (New Zealand Security Intelligence Service).

CABINET OFFICE
Central government department with responsibilities for co-ordinating the UK national intelligence machinery.

CX
SIS intelligence reports as issued to customers.

DIS
Defence Intelligence Staff. Intelligence analytical organisation of the Ministry of Defence traditionally serving the UK armed forces but also serving wider government customers.

FCO
Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The UK ministry of foreign affairs.

GC&CS
Government Code and Cipher School. Forerunner of GCHQ. Part of SIS from 1923 to 1947.

GCHQ
Government Communications Headquarters. The UK sigint (signals intelligence) agency. One of SIS's two sister intelligence and security agencies along with the Security Service.

HOME OFFICE
The UK ministry of the interior.

HRA
Human Rights Act of 1998. A key piece of UK legislation to which SIS is subject.

HUMINT
Human intelligence or intelligence derived from human sources.

ISA
Intelligence Services Act of 1994. This act placed SIS on a statutory footing and defines what the Service may do.

JIC
Joint Intelligence Committee. Part of the Cabinet Office and the central body of the national intelligence machinery. It advises on the priorities for intelligence collection and assesses Agency performance against those priorities.

JTAC
Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. Sits within the Security Service to analyse all source intelligence on terrorist threats to the UK and UK interests. Staffed by members of all three intelligence and security agencies and the DIS, FCO, Home Office, the Police and other government departments.

Liaison
Foreign intelligence services with which SIS cooperates. It is SIS policy not to comment on its relationships with liaison services.

MI5
Commonly used but unofficial title for the Security Service.

MI6
Commonly used but unofficial title for SIS dating back to before WWII.

OFFICER
A member of SIS staff. Often confused in popular vocabulary with agent.

OPERATION
An intelligence gathering operation.

REQUIREMENT
Intelligence requirements set by the JIC.

RIPA
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000. Regulatory Act which established a Commissioner for Interception, a Commissioner for the Intelligence Services and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

SECRET INTELLIGENCE
Information acquired against the wishes and generally without the knowledge of the originators or possessors. Sources are kept secret from readers as are the techniques used to acquire the information. Intelligence provides privileged insights not available openly.

SIA
Single Intelligence Account. The budget through which all three intelligence and security agencies are funded.

SIGINT
Signals intelligence. The primary task of GCHQ.

SIS
The Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6.

SOE
The Special Operations Executive. WWII clandestine operations agency absorbed into SIS towards the end of the war. Security-edited records from the period before absorption have been released by SIS to the UK National Archive.

SOURCE
Any source of information or intelligence. An agent may be a source but a source is not automatically an agent.