Intelligence agencies play a crucial role in national security and protecting countries from internal and external threats. These agencies gather intelligence through various means, including human intelligence, signal intelligence, and open source intelligence. In this article, we will discuss some of the intelligence agencies of various countries.
What do Intelligence Agencies do ?
Intelligence agencies are often shrouded in mystery and intrigue, depicted in movies and television as shadowy organisations with secretive agendas. However, the reality is that intelligence agencies play a critical role in national security and international relations. Here’s a closer look at what intelligence agencies do:
A lot of work done by the Intelligence Agencies is about gathering information. Unless information is gathered through various sources it cannot be analysed. Intelligence Analysis is a discipline in itself wherein the raw information may be converted into Mission Statements & Actionable items.
Information is gathered from through variety of methods which includes imagery, communications which is intercepted & most important human sources. The analysed piece of information then becomes Intelligence & is given out to policy decision makers.
Agencies work to assess potential threats to national security. They identify patterns & use them to get to the root of it.
Covert Operations are one of the key activities conducted by an Intelligence Agency. Covert means an activity which is not openly acknowledged or displayed. These operations may include espionage, sabotage, etc These ops are always carried out by specially trained officers & other ranks.
Provide Intelligence Support
Intelligence agencies also provide support to other government agencies and military units. This may include providing intelligence briefings to policymakers, as well as providing intelligence support to military operations. Intelligence agencies may also collaborate with foreign intelligence services to share information and coordinate efforts to address shared threats.
Protect National Security
The ultimate purpose of intelligence services is to safeguard national security. This includes identifying and neutralising possible threats and providing policymakers with the necessary knowledge to make educated decisions regarding foreign policy and national security. The work of intelligence agencies is often done behind the scenes, but their work is essential to making sure that people are safe and secure both at home and abroad.
Intelligence agencies are essential to national security and international affairs. Through acquiring information, evaluating threats, conducting covert operations, providing intelligence assistance, and defending national security, these agencies contribute to the well-being of citizens both domestically and internationally.
Let’s examine the Intelligence Agencies of specific countries that receive less attention. While information is plentiful about agencies in countries such as the USA, UK, and Canada, there is comparatively little information available on agencies in Mexico, France, Japan, and Iran.
Centro Nacional de Inteligencia or CNI
The Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection, known as SSPC, is a government agency in Mexico that oversees public safety and security matters, including the National Guard, National Intelligence Center, and the penitentiary system.
The SSPC was formed in 2018 under the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. It took over all security functions previously housed in SEGO, including the CNS. SEGO had taken on these functions at the beginning of 2013 when the Secretariat of Public Security was dissolved. One of the SSPC’s tasks is to create a new National Guard, which will include 35,000 military police and 8,000 naval police.
The Centro Nacional de Inteligencia or CNI is a Mexican intelligence agency that operates under the authority of the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection. The agency, previously known as CISEN or Center for Investigation and National Security, was established in 1989 after its predecessors stopped operating. In 2018, the agency’s official title changed. The CNI serves as Mexico’s primary intelligence agency.
The CNI is tasked with conducting investigations and gathering intelligence to preserve the State’s integrity, stability, and endurance.
In November 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) implemented reforms that resulted in the dissolution of Mexico’s civilian intelligence agency, the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN). As part of a larger initiative to overhaul the Mexican government, the CISEN was replaced by the National Intelligence Center (CNI) and falls under the jurisdiction of the newly established Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection (SSCP). After the transfer of most of its 3,500 employees to the CNI, CISEN’s secret archives, which contain a file on AMLO, will be made available to the public in the near future.
The agency was allegedly involved in a cell phone hacking activity in 2017 where Israeli-origin spyware was used against numerous people. Information obtained through a freedom of information request by Artistegui Noticias showed an increase in CISEN requests for communication interception from approximately 200 in 2012 to over 800 in 2016 before the scandal. The requests for intercepts were not explained, and when they were revealed, many had doubts about their authenticity.
In the next part we will be writing about Intelligence Agencies of below Nation States:
- Vatican City