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Secret Intelligence Service

Our company in a nutshell

About Us

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), often known as MI6, collects Britain's foreign intelligence. The Service is based at Vauxhall Cross in London. Its Chief is Sir John Sawers. SIS provides Her Majesty's Government with a global covert capability to promote and defend the national security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) was established in 1909 as the Foreign Section of the Secret Service Bureau. The Foreign Section's responsibility for overseas intelligence collection has been retained ever since by SIS under a variety of names and acronyms. This responsibility was placed on a statutory basis in the Intelligence Services Act 1994.

SIS contributes to the larger inter-departmental national intelligence community, where it works closely with the other two British intelligence and security agencies, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the Security Service (MI5).

Our roles and responsibilities

SIS collects secret intelligence and mounts covert operations overseas in support of British Government objectives. The parameters for these activities are laid down in the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which states that SIS functions are to obtain and provide information and perform other tasks relating to the acts and intentions of persons overseas:

* In the interests of national security, with particular reference to the government's defence and foreign policies;

* in the interests of the economic well-being of the UK; and

* in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime.