THE agencies widely associated with fictional super spy James Bond both serve the same purpose – gathering intelligence. But the secretive and highly-skilled organisations have very different remits, as SunOnline explains. What does MI5 do and what are its limitations? MI5 is widely understood to focus its intelligence efforts inside the UK but that isn’t always the case. With threats to Britain’s security often coming from abroad, the agency says it does “work outside the UK where it’s necessary to protect the UK’s national security or to counter security threats”. It describes itself as a “publicly accountable civilian intelligence organisation”, not a “secret police force”, as it does not have the power to arrest people. Reporting to the Home Office, it was formed in 1909 under British army captain Vernon Kell to identify and counteract German spies in the country, according to the Britannica. What does MI6 do? The Secret Intelligence Service, commonly referred to as MI6, works on suppressing and countering threats from abroad. Its roles include counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, providing cyber security intelligence and disrupting terrorism and other criminal activities overseas. It is known to have been active in the Balkans and Libya, where it was reported to have… Read full this story
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