Private intelligence agency
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A private intelligence agency is a private sector (non-governmental) organization devoted to the collection and analysis of information, most commonly through the evaluation of public sources (OSINT or Open Source INTelligence) and cooperation with other institutions. Some private agencies make their services available to governments as well as individual consumers; however, most of these agencies sell their services to large corporations with an interest or investment in the category (e.g. crime, disease, corruption, etc.) or the region (e.g. Middle East, Vietnam, Prague, etc.). Some private agencies also provide related services, such as security personnel, surveillance equipment, medical evacuation or traveler's insurance.
The private intelligence industry has boomed due to shifts in how the U.S. government is conducting espionage in the War on Terror. Functions previously performed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), and other intelligence agencies are now outsourced to private intelligence corporations.
Notable private intelligence companies
- AEGIS (UK-based)
- Control Risks Group (UK-based)
- Diligence LLC (UK-based)
- GK Sierra (US-based)
- Be-Great Intelligence Service (Ghana/UK-based)
- Hakluyt & Company (UK-based)
- Kroll Inc. (US-based)
- Smith Brandon International, Inc. (US-based)
- Stratfor (US-based)
- Booz Allen Hamilton (US-based)
- Public Security LLC (US-based)
- Companies Turn To Private Spies, Peter Lewis, Fortune, August 23, 2004
- Smith, Michael (2008-06-01). "Private Intelligence Companies". Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- Ripley, Amanda. "Rent A-Spook". Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Abbot, Sebastian. "The Outsourcing of U.S. Intelligence Analysis". News21 Project. Retrieved 28 February 2013.