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 Secret Intelligence Service

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kosovohp
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PostSubject: Secret Intelligence Service   Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:14 pm

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. Alongside the internal Security Service (MI5), the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC).

It is frequently referred to in the mass media and popular parlance by the name MI6, a name used as a flag of convenience during the Second World War when it was known by many names.[1] The mere existence of MI6 was not officially acknowledged in public until 1994.[2]

In late-2010, the head of SIS delivered what he said was the first public address by a serving chief of the agency in its 101-year history. The remarks of Sir John Sawers primarily focused on the relationship between the need for secrecy and the goal of maintaining security within Britain. His remarks acknowledged the tensions caused by secrecy in an era of leaks and pressure for ever-greater disclosure.[3]

SIS is referred to colloquially within the Civil Service as Box 850, after its old MI6 post office box number.[4][5][6] Its headquarters, since 1995, are at Vauxhall Cross on the South Bank of the Thames.

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