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SECU625 Counterintelligence - United Kingdom Cheat Sheet by


A Few Important Dates in History

The Security Service (MI5), a domestic intell­igence service, and Secret Intell­igence Service (MI6), a foreign intell­igence service, are formed.
Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), a signals intell­igence organi­zation, was formed. This organi­zation was later renamed to Government Commun­ica­tions Headqu­arters (GCHQ).
MI5's importance rapidly increases to counter Soviet espionage.
Joint Intell­igence Committee (JIC) forms. JIC is primarily respon­sible for intell­igence assess­ment.
Despite being initially unprep­ared, MI5's mission played a key role in countering espionage tactics during World War II. MI6's human intell­igence (HUMINT) efforts are comple­mented by MI5.
Operation Gold, a joint operation by the Central Intell­igence Agency and MI6 begins. The operation was created to tap into a Soviet Army commun­ica­tions line (via a tunnel system) to steal critical intell­igence.
Operation Gold is compro­mised.
Defence Intell­igence (DI) organi­zation forms. DI is respon­sible for gathering and analyzing military intell­igence.
New legisl­ation passes to enable MI5 to extend their security services (i.e., signals intell­ige­nce­/su­rve­ill­ance) to other intell­igence agencies.
After the terrorist attacks in September 2001, MI5 begins collecting bulk telephone records (bulk personal datasets, or BPDs) as per the powers granted to them under the Security Service Act of 1989 and Intell­igence Services Act of 1994.
Andrew Parker takes the position as Director General of the Security Service (MI5).
Alex Younger begins his role as Chief of the Secret Intell­igence Service (MI6).

GCHQ Mission

Signals intell­igence (SIGINT), somewhat similar to the National Security Agency (NSA). "­Using our expertise and experience GCHQ is part of the team which protects the UK, along with law enforc­ement and the other intell­igence agencies. Working with HMG and industry, we defend Government systems from cyber threat, provide support to the Armed Forces and strive to keep the public safe, in real life and online."

Security Service (MI5) Mission

Domestic intell­igence. "The role of MI5, as defined in the Security Service Act 1989, is the protection of national security and in particular its protection against threats such as terrorism, espionage and sabotage, the activities of agents of foreign powers, and from actions intended to overthrow or undermine parlia­mentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means."­

Secret Intell­igence Service (MI6) Mission

Foreign intell­igence. "We work secretly overseas, developing foreign contacts and gathering intell­igence that helps to make the UK safer and more prospe­rous. We help the UK identify and exploit opport­unities as well as navigate risks to our national security, military effect­iveness and economy. We work across the globe to counter terrorism, resolve intern­ational conflict and prevent the spread of nuclear and other non-co­nve­ntional weapon­s."

GCHQ Leadership

Jeremy Fleming, head of the British Government Commun­ica­tions Headqu­arters.

MI5 Leadership

Andrew Parker, Direct­or-­General of the British Security Service.

MI6 Leadership

Alex Younger, Chief of the Secret Intell­igence Service.


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