British Intelligence Services

In a recent edition I talked about MI6, which was once called SIS, and which, oddly enough, is mostly referred to these days using that original acronym (the Secret Intelligence Service). In many ways the service is similar to the United States’ CIA. Just as in that vast country the FBI (founded by Edgar Hoover) has some similarities with Britain’s MI5, in re the CIA and the SIS are supposed to deal with overt and covert overseas surveillance (and actions). The FBI and MI5 are supposed to deal with national or interior security and/ or surveillance.

Whatever you call them, between the two, no citizen can keep any secrets hidden from the all-seeing eye. George Orwell was right, as usual. The ordinary citizen may not know this, but governmental organisations know ALL (from your CV to your favourite toothpaste) – about YOU.


By | 2010-11-22T13:22:14+00:00 November 22nd, 2010|English History, Jewish History, World History|3 Comments

Happy birthday MI6

I am reminded by the publication of an enormous new book (810 pages) written by Keith Jeffery that Great Britain’s first official secret service agency has just passed its hundredth anniversary. The book is called MI6: the history of the Secret Intelligence Service, 1909 – 1949.

It was late in 1949 that a retired naval officer, Mansfield Cumming was prompted to organise what became known by its initials – SIS – the Secret Intelligence Service. Cumming was only 50.

In 1910 it was unthinkable that a whole book might eventually be dedicated to an analysis of a secret service, which, by the nature of its name, should be secret. This heavy tome is probably the first part of a two-volume history, since it deals with the period ending in 1949. Mansfield Cumming himself once said that if he had been asked to write an autobiography he would agree and produce a 400 page book, vellum-covered, with every page blank.


By | 2010-11-09T11:05:23+00:00 November 9th, 2010|English History, World History|3 Comments
Load More Posts