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An intelligence agency is a governmental agency that is devoted to information gathering (known in the context as "intelligence") for purposes of national security and defense. Means of information gathering may include espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public sources. The assembly and propagation of this information is known as intelligence analysis.

Intelligence agencies can provide the following services for their national governments.

  • provide analysis in areas relevant to national security;
  • give early warning of impending crises;
  • serve national and international crisis management by helping to discern the intentions of current or potential opponents;
  • inform national defense planning and military operations;
  • protect secrets, both of their own sources and activities, and those of other state agencies; and
  • may act covertly to influence the outcome of events in favor of national interests


Intelligence agencies are also involved in defensive activities such as counter-espionage or counter-terrorism.

There is a distinction between "security intelligence" and "foreign intelligence". Security intelligence pertains to national security threats (e.g. terrorism, espionage). Foreign intelligence involves information collection relating to the political, or economic activities of foreign states.

Some agencies are accused of being involved in assassination, arms sales, coups d'état, and the placement of misinformation (propaganda) as well as other covert operations, in order to support their own or their governments' interests.

List of major intelligence agencies (by country)

Australia

Bangladeshmarker

Belgiummarker

Brazilmarker

Canadamarker

Chinamarker

Chilemarker

Colombiamarker

Cubamarker

Denmarkmarker

Egyptmarker

Finlandmarker

Francemarker

Germanymarker

Greecemarker

Indiamarker

Irelandmarker

Israelmarker

Italymarker

Mexicomarker

Netherlandsmarker

New Zealandmarker

Pakistanmarker

Philippinesmarker

Polandmarker

Russian Federationmarker

Saudi Arabiamarker

Singaporemarker

South Africa

Spainmarker

Swedenmarker

Turkeymarker

Ukrainemarker

United Kingdommarker

United Statesmarker

See also



Further reading

Books
  • Encyclopedia of espionage, intelligence, and security, hrg. von K. Lee Lerner und Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 3 Bände, Detroit [u.a.] : Gale [u.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. [u.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


External links




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