Talk:Secret Intelligence Service

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Butler of Brockwell's Review[edit]

According to the findings of Lord Butler of Brockwell's Review of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the reduction of operational capabilities in the Middle East and the weakening of the Requirements division's ability to challenge the quality of the information the Middle East Controllerate was providing the Joint Intelligence Committee's estimates of Iraq's nonconventional weapons programmes.

This sentence, due in part to an excess of participial phrases functioning in various capacities, supplemented by infinitives fulfilling various roles, in conjunction with a relative clause whose relative pronoun is elided, leading to an inability to communicate clearly the actual statement from said report. Can someone please introduce a declarative verb? I have no idea what it's trying to say.

Neal has a tumor

MI6 or SIS?[edit]

(Consolidated thread)

When is it MI6 and when is it SIS? I think the public hardly ever call it SIS most people refer to it as MI6?

Well, according to the general public (I straw polled 4 people, unaninmous result), it's MI6, known colloqually as MI6. According to the article as written, it's called MI6, known colloquially as MI6. Accodring to Hannsard, it's MI6, known as MI6. According to the press, it's MI6, known as MI6.

So... I think that the title it misleading, and that the article is best held under the heading of MI6. Plus, as it stands, there are bits of the article that hold no value - "'Quex' Sinclair died in 1939 and was replaced as "C" by Lt. Col. Stewart Menzies. Menzies was another run-of-the-mill chief; by common opinion, SIS did not have a head of Cummings' calibre until Dick White, in the post-war era." In the absence of a timeline of the had officers, this has little merit. It's bland assertion of the calibre of the head is out of place (that's a blatent show of POV). It's comment about 'passport-control officers' I find to be unveryfiable. And there are a few more problems too, along the same lines. Syntax 03:45, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It's the SIS. It's been the SIS for a while. No documents coming out from it (except PR nonsense) use the term 'MI6', which is a WWI hangover that's propped up by the internal force still using MI5, instead of another name; we don't call GCHQ 'SIGINT' or MI17, do we?
To put it bluntly, the 'man in the street' is wrong.
James F. (talk) 04:33, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
So 'SIS' is a secret internal name that virtually no-one outside MI6 knows about, which naturally is a big attraction for Wikipedia anal-retentives to choose bad titles.
The BBC refers to it as SIS normally (though they note that it is 'commonly known as MI6'...)
Evidently no-one has ever heard of such an institution, though...
James F. (talk) 20:18, 8 May 2004 (UTC)
Whilst I agree that it's much better known as MI6, given the redirect is there, what does it matter? OwenBlacker 23:42, Jun 5, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, given the MI5 article is at its common name, I've changed my mind. I think this should be moved to MI6. Any objections? — OwenBlacker 02:15, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

the article should be renamed to MI6 since it is known to more people and widely used If you asked a person what SIS was they wouldn't have a clue what you're talking about now if you asked them what MI6 was they would more likely know becuse they heard it in media or James Bond Dudtz 7/21/05 5:42 PM EST

Agreed, the Security Service is under its old but better known name of MI5 so I don't see why the Secret Intelligence Service shouldn't be under MI6. Silveralex 18:17, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

    • The Security Service is known as just that—The Security Service. Why would we intentionally refer to The Security Service as MI5 or the Secret Intelligence Service as MI6, when the Services themselves state that they are officially titled 'Security Service' and 'Secret Intelligence Service?' Our job at Wikipedia is to educate people, not to make them feel good that what they think to be correct is just that, when they are actually wrong. As I have already stated: it is morally reprehensible to knowingly give thousands or millions of people incorrect information. Pumanike 18:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
The organisation should be known by its official name (since 1922). Other public institutions are labelled correctly (eg. "BBC" not "beeb", Palace of Westminster not "Big Ben"), this should be no different. Encyclopedias should be accurate - the redirect is sufficient. Wiki-Ed 15:05, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
If thats the case then shouldn't the Security Service be used instead of MI5 on its page? Silveralex 01:48, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
    • AbsolutelyPumanike 18:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Yep if we're being consistent. However, I fear making changes might ignite an unwelcome debate - so I am inclined to let sleeping dogs lie. :) Wiki-Ed 10:08, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Just to add an official "last word" on this, here's what the Secret Intelligence Service's official website says about its name - SIS OR MI6. WHAT'S IN A NAME?. Basically, it went by several different names after its inception in 1909, including "Foreign Intelligence Service", "Secret Service", "MI1(c)", "Special Intelligence Service" and "C's Organisation" (the original head and his successors are all called "C"). But by 1920, the name "Secret Intelligence Service" became the most common name, even before the term MI6 had been invented. The name SIS was given an official status in a law passed in 1994, so SIS definitely is the only official name for the organisation. I suspect it took this long to be made the official name mainly because until very recently the government denied that SIS even existed, so it was impossible to lay down any details about it in public. MI6 was briefly an unofficial name used during the Second World War, when different intelligence departments were all referred to as MI-something, because they were all meant to be departments of the Military (MI = Military Intelligence). They're not a department of the Military though, they're actually part of the Foreign Office, not the Ministry Of Defence. This is why the name is so important to some people, because SIS had a long struggle to break itself free of the military so it didn't want a name that implied it was part of something that it wasn't. MI5 is similarly inaccurate, the Security Service is part of the Home Office, NOT the MOD. Neither of the organisations are Military, so the names MI5 and MI6 are simply wrong even if they're commonly used by outsiders, just as Sydney isn't the capital of Australia even though most outsiders think it is.

I have put the link to the site above. Here it is again:

This idiot up here doesn't know how to spell. If you can't spot it, you are in a very pitiful state... Pumanike 18:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

But normal policy on Wikipedia is to use the common name, which is most definitely MI6 (how many people have heard of the SIS?). The BBC example quoted above is apposite, although not in the way the poster intended it to be: the article is entitled BBC (its common name), not "British Broadcasting Corporation" (its official name). -- Necrothesp 13:03, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia's purpose is to educate and inform. Just because people perceive something incorrectly does not mean that we should reinforce the misconception. I should add that the Security Service is not part of the Home Office, and SIS is not part of the FCO, although they do report to the same ministers. Wiki-Ed 13:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
All you have to do is read the article to be informed! -- Necrothesp 16:21, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Do we need three pictures of the same building?

I'd say so, they're great pics --PopUpPirate 13:06, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)

MI6? DI6 = more accurate. But the name is SIS and it's Special not Secret.

DI6? What's that supposed to mean? The only time I've seen that before was in some poorly researched Clancy book. And the first 'S' is for "secret". Wiki-Ed 15:05, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
I have seen DI6 mentioned before ( sorry no source ). As i understand it was a beauocratic title never used by anyone. 16:49, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
It was referred to as DI6 by Jeff Randall in episode 4 (Never Trust a Ghost) of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased). §piderJon (talk) 14:19, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Interestingly, the official site of the Secret Intelligence Service is And it's articles noted that MI6 'fell into official disuse' - i.e. it was used officially. -- 11:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Just to add to an old debate: Britannica has its articles under the headings 'MI5' and 'MI6' (with formally followed by the offial name opening the article). Tobyox (talk) 06:12, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

James Bond[edit]

Where does that "James Bond working for MI6 is a myth" come from? As far as I am aware, Bond was indeed working for MI6 in the novels and not the NID - his rank was Commander, yes, but that was his official naval rank and cover. --khaosworks 18:14, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In Dr. No M refers to MI7 (apparently this is an overdub, and lip reading shows that the original line is "MI6"). Otherwise I don't think MI6 is ever explicitly mentioned. Timrollpickering 01:50, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
In the Pierce Brosnan era (which are all original sreenplays, I believe, not adaptations of Flemming's stories) open reference is made to MI6. Yorkshire Phoenix (talkcontribs) 11:21, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Her Majesty's Secret Service[edit]

The notion that the Secret Service was ever known as "Her Majesty's Secret Service" is actually something of an urban myth, brought about by the popularity of the novel and film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, Fleming intended the title as a play on words based on the old term "On Her Majesty's Service", represented as O.H.M.S. on envelopes containing tax documents and other mundane official communications. It's become apparent to me that this isn't widely known outside the UK! I've fixed the article to reflect this jamesgibbon 12:21, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Has a remit"[edit]

The second sentence of this article baffled me. I (an American) have a degree in English from Harvard, have written many books, love the English language (and particularly British thrillers and spy stories), and had never encountered the word "remit" before in this sense. I've just tried googling "has a remit" and "have a remit" and found about 10,000 instances of each phrase. I would say, without examining all 20,000 cases, that they are all from British contexts. I think most educated Americans are aware that our English cousins say "lift" for "elevator", "boot" for "trunk", "lorry" for "truck", etc. etc. But I think that they would be baffled by "MI6 has a remit to..." although they could probably figure out the sense from the context. Could someone here take pity on their transAtlantic cousins and find another way of phrasing this? "has the authority", perhaps? "is chartered to"? "Is legislated to"? Or something of the sort.... Hayford Peirce 7 July 2005 00:21 (UTC)

"remit" being the root of "remitance" is perfectly logical. Nobs01 7 July 2005 00:47 (UTC)
Remit is commonly used here (especially within government) and is a far more flexible way of saying "has responsibility for". Part of your love of English should surely be in the finding out about words you've never heard of before? No-one can know them all :) Wiki-Ed 15:05, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
Whilst it might not be technically correct, remit is used interchangeably with ambit in HMG —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:35, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
No, it is "technically" correct. Remit noun; the area of activity that a person or organisation controls or is officially responsible for (OED, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-19-923088-4). Wiki-Ed (talk) 22:41, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


Clem, you made a lot of deletions in your "revert vandal" edit. I noticed there were a few good changes in there, but these were heavily outnumbered by the bad ones and the mass deletions of correct information (so I've reverted back). Grateful if you could be more careful - your own edit looked more like vandalism than whatever it was you thought you were correcting. Wiki-Ed 10:42, 19 August 2005 (UTC)


Anyone got the will or the way to tweak this article so it could be a Featured Article one day? I'd be willing to do what I could. --PopUpPirate 23:14, August 21, 2005 (UTC)

Move article ?[edit]

The title is misleading. I came here looking for a general description of secret intelligence services, and instead found a description of one in particular. The content of this article should be moved to one titled "MI6", and in it's place should be a general description of secret intelligence services, with links, including MI6, the CIA, Mossad, the KGB (and it's newer incarnation), etc. StuRat 20:45, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

No. The title is not misleading: "Secret Intelligence Service" (NB singular) is the name of the organisation. MI6 is an inaccurate anachronistic colloquial term. If you were looking for a general description of "Central Intelligence Agencies" and instead found the CIA page would you be surprised by that? The general description of intelligence services is under "intelligence services". They are all secretive. Wiki-Ed 09:40, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
The CIA is referred to as such in the US, and has no other name. Is the SIS referred to only as that in the UK, with no other name ? If not, then your analogy is faulty. StuRat 01:41, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
It's not in the least bit faulty. The article on the "CIA" is at Central Intelligence Agency and no doubt when talking about that organisation in a formal context (eg. an encyclopedia article) that is what it is called. Same goes for the SIS. In any case, MI6 would be an inaccurate heading. Wiki-Ed 08:27, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
In their own words, "Although 'MI6' fell into disuse years ago, many writers and journalists continue to use it to describe SIS", BrianDuff 23:43, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
True, but look at the domain name. They don't seem to fully accept their own argument Tangerine Cossack 11:22, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Ignore my comment. I see that works equally well. Tangerine Cossack 11:23, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Armchair experts[edit]

I enjoy it when some contributors to this resource are shown up to be completely ignorant and uninformed. Looks like it is SIS (for SECRET Intelligence Service) after all. Just 'cause the man in the street thinks it is officially named MI6, or DI6, or the first 's' stands for Special, or officially it's the "Secret Service", it don't mean it's true. It means they believe the newspapers/movies/bloke down the pub who says he's an expert. The redirect from MI6 to SIS is correct.

Do a bit of research before pontificating here.

Oh shut up.
    • Etiquette anyone? Pumanike (talk) 17:04, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Quote: Of his predecessor, Dearlove, no photos exist in the public domain more recent than one taken for his university graduation.[edit]

There are now:

Spies are meant to be executed by firing squad.[edit]

Greek newspaper "Proto Thema" publicly named the head of MI6 in retaliation over joint british and greek conducted abduction and torture of 27 ethnic pakistani people from Athens. See and hear:

spies can be shot only during wartime. Since the operation took place during peacetime ( and probably with at least some knowledge of the Greek government; otherwise it would be too risky ) I dont see how the word "spy" could be used here. plainclothes secret police man or covert agnet might be better term. in any case the newspaper offers no proof. 16:36, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
so if they start doing unconstitutional and illegal things they magically stop being spies? i know this comment is old but this is just a sad joke. crimes should be in here as well. -- (talk) 19:22, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Comparison of MI6 and MI5 is wrong[edit]

This article perpetuates a myth about SIS (MI6) and the Security Service (MI5). The myth is that MI6 spies overseas and MI5 spies in Britain. In fact, both organisations work both abroad and at home, but in slightly different ways: MI5 concentrates on protecting British citizens and interests wherever they are in the world, whereas MI6 concentrates on gathering intelligence which might be of use to the government. That's why they have such different names, the Secret Intelligence Service gathers intelligence whereas the Security Service guarantees security.

This is what it says on the official MI5 website (yes, they really do have one now) under the heading "FAQ & Myths":

"Myth 2: MI5 only works in the UK"

"Media reporting sometimes confuses the geographical scope of our work. Threats to national security often come from abroad, for example from foreign intelligence services or from terrorist groups based overseas. Moreover, the scope of national security extends beyond the British Isles and may involve the protection of British interests worldwide, e.g. diplomatic premises and staff, British companies and investments and British citizens living or travelling abroad. Security threats to British interests anywhere in the world fall within the scope of our functions as set out in the Security Service Act 1989."

It might be of interest to note that in the past MI5 has been charged with dealing with events overseas as part of its role as an Imperial Intelligence Agency. MI5 was tasked with intelligence matters throughout the British Empire, and thus there was some overlap between it and its sister organisation, SIS. In such cases it was sometimes the case that an joint organisation was formed in which both MI5 and SIS operatives would participate. MI5's role in the decolonisation process in the British Empire is the topic of some soon-to-be-published PhD/MPhil theses. Asmillar 20:35, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

This information, clearly spelled out, would be useful in the introductions to the articles on both MI5 and MI6. I myself was wondering whether MI5 and MI6 were analogous to the US FBI (domestic jurisdiction) and CIA (foreign jurisdiction) respectively. As it is, MI5 is only mentioned three times in this article. RobertM525 (talk) 06:53, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Is MI6 the same as Special Military Intelligence unit?[edit]

Just curious if it is, im trying to confirm the details of Cpt. Fred Holroyd Fluffy999 12:10, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

British counter intelligence has operated in Northern Ireland under a number of cover names. But since Fred Holroyd seems unreliable and vague ( on his Wikipedia page ) and there seems to be little reason for an MI6 unit to operate in NI ( counter terrorism comes under MI5 ) and there is no mention of a "Special Military Intelligence unit" in NI in Wikipedia it seems unlikely to me that MI6 = Special Military Intelligence unit. of course Special Military Intelligence unit could be a cover name but its not likely to be for MI6. 16:46, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

A couple of points[edit]

I would support the move to MI6. While this is not the correct name it is the most common, which is what is usually whats used by wikipedia with the correction given in the first sentence (see articles of any pop star for examples of this).

Surely the SIS only covers the UK and not the Republic of Ireland. Is this vandalism? josh (talk) 22:24, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Didn't know where to put this, but im sure i recall a rpg attack "MI6" headquarters just thought that should be in the history happened a few years ago 7-8 possiably.

When was its existence first formally acknowledged?[edit]

In the 1994 Intelligence Services Act? Earlier? And what were MI1,2,..., anybody know? I know MI8 was a name, or one of several names, for what is now GCHQ. It's not important, but historically interesting. Anyhow maybe it's still all classified up the wazoo. :)

Nice article, people. Thanks. 10:31, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

MI numbers Directorate of Military Intelligence
Leushenko 01:31, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
I also would like it to be clearer in the article when MI6's existence was first formally acknowledged. It is not currently clear. Can anyone help?
(I'm also glad to see the other MI numbers linked at the bottom of the article... Fascinating stuff!) --Kyuzo2000 (talk) 19:36, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

SIS organisation at the start of WWII[edit]

This was the organisational structure of WWII at the start of WWII, perhaps some details can be used in the main article [1] --jmb (talk) 23:55, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Chief Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair
I Political Section
II Military Section, under Colonel Stewart Menzies
III Naval Section
IV Air Section, under Wing-Commander Fred Winterbotham
V Counter-espionage
VI Industrial
VII Finance, under Commander Percy Sykes RN
VIII Communications, under Colonel Richard Gambier-Parry
IX Cypher
X Press
  1. ^ The Secret Wireless War: The Story of MI6 Communications 1939-1945, Geoffrey Pidgeon, UPSO 2006 ISBN 1-84375-252-2
a pedantic point maybe but the main article refers to Section 6 in defining MI6; to be consistent this should be "Section VI" Dioclesian (talk) 08:49, 30 July 2010 (UTC)


Why there is no info about the assasination of Princess Diana ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Because it is just the mad ramblings of a very distressed father and has no basis in reality...--hydeblake (talk) 08:44, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Responsible Department[edit]

As the SIS was originally part of the War Office, when exactly did it come under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Office? Opera hat (talk) 23:00, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Cammy White[edit]

Hey, Cammy White is credited to have worked under MI-6, and is a fictional character. Should we add her? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:06, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Split infinitive[edit]

"In order to better control information" ye gods! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Overview of British intelligence - new article[edit]

I have created a United Kingdom intelligence community page where we can address the broad issues, such as the relative scope of MI5 and MI6 (as mentioned above). Starting with the list of key agencies shown at the global List of intelligence agencies. It should provide an appropriate place to deal with some of the ambiguities that the present atomised articles fail to cover well.

To discuss, please use this Talk page. Earthlyreason (talk) 06:25, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

SIS, often called MI6[edit]

Following the clear usage on the official site, I have changed 'colloquially known as MI6' to 'often called MI6'. Earthlyreason (talk) 05:44, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


Wasn't helping that nice man Franco get his rebellion in Spanish Sahara off the ground SIS's finest hour?Keith-264 (talk) 21:13, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Keith-264 should speak in greater detail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Artcile lacks info[edit]

This article lacks information on its Head,staff..etc..!!! It just has info on history and its location, Some knowledgeable person please expand the article.. --Shekhartagra (talk) 09:27, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Can you be clearer on what you think it should have please. Given the sensitivities of the service there is a bit of a dearth of reliable and credible sources on that kind of thing.
ALR (talk) 10:51, 3 July 2009 (UTC)


Currently it says: 'Its headquarters, since 1995, is at Vauxhall Cross'

Am I being a bit thick, or should it be 'Its headquarters, since 1995, are at Vauxhall Cross..'?

Dvmedis (talk) 01:18, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

From the American Heritage Dictionary (per
head·quar·ters  (hěd'kwôr'tərz)    
pl.n.   (used with a sing. or pl. verb)

Possibly not definitive, but it appears not to be clear cut (talk) 07:57, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved. Rough consensus in this discussion, as User:ALR said, is that "there is insufficient justification for titling the article with a different name from that of the organisation" at this time. Regards, Arbitrarily0 (talk) 16:50, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Secret Intelligence ServiceMI6 — common name. There have been several inconclusive discussions on the matter on the talk page, time to see what the consensus is. PBS (talk) 01:51, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Note: That's only an alias to the official "". Whois on gives "Registered For: Secret Intelligence Service". Rwendland (talk) 12:54, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • oppose - the previous discussions have been quite clear, there is insufficient justification for titling the article with a different name from that of the organisation. The name of the organisation is SIS, it's referred to as MI6 by people who don't know what they're on about. The redirect from the colloquialism used in the media is already in place and a search using that term will render this page, which then tells people what the correct name is. It's a civil agency, not a military organisation, the web site is which is titled The Official Secret Intelligence Service Website, job adverts in the Economist and others publications are titles SIS, and indeed articles in these publications also refer to SIS. ALR (talk) 05:11, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
    The Wikipedia policy is to use the name most frequently used in reliable sources, not the name that an organisation identifies itself by. Do you have any evidence that in reliable sources that "Secret Intelligence Service" is more frequently use than MI6? -- PBS (talk) 05:48, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually WP:COMMONNAME suggests calling it the the most common English-language name of the subject, not the most common word used by others. The next sentence does go on to talk about source reliability.
The key point is reliability not sheer weight of numbers. Whilst I recognise that many journalists and media outlets use MI6 I'd question their reliability, particularly when compared to the academic work on Intelligence policy and practice. There and indeed most of the UK policy, including the Intelligence Services Act, you'll find it called SIS because that's the name of the service.
Secret Intelligence, A reader by Christopher Andrew of Warwick University.
To be honest I think the most reliable source for the name of an organisation is what it calls itself, an no amount of semantic wrangling is going to convince me that anything else is a particularly sensible approach.
ALR (talk) 08:27, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Ouch. MI-6 is a remnant name that hasn't been used for decades, even before WWII if memory serves. It's only media portrayal (especially James Bond) that has kept that name alive, because let's face it - it's catchier, punchier and easier to say. SIS knows this and so to maintain some sense of familiarity to the public, uses it colloquially, but not officially, and every piece of recruitment literature I've ever seen as never mentioned MI6, only SIS. Regardless of WP:COMMONNAME, I consider it to be unencyclopaedic to rename this article. There is already a redirect in place, which as ALR said then educates people about the correct name for the organisation. ῤerspeκὖlὖm in ænigmate ( talk ) 10:02, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually the official website is, although does redirect to it.
ALR (talk) 12:03, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "Around 1920, it began increasingly to be referred to as the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), a title that it has continued to use to the present day and which was enshrined in statute in the Intelligence Services Act 1994."[1] Rwendland (talk) 12:46, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. MI6 remains the common name, as the article lead rightly says! Andrewa (talk) 12:56, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Are we going to start renaming every organisation's page that has a commonly used nickname? What about sports teams that have nicknames? A football team near me in the UK called West Bromwich Albion F.C. are almost universally known to supporters as 'The Baggies', yet you obviously wouldn't rename the article.
We should rename if and only if this commonly used nickname is more widely recognised than the official name and any other possible titles. And by widely I mean across all English speakers, and both native and second-language speakers. Agree the baggies probably isn't a good title.
I'd also like to point out that just because there is a policy, does not mean it has to be applied blindly. The policy is also open to discussion and consensus, and there will clearly be instances where the policy would create an undesired outcome that was never intended when written. Ultimately, this is an encyclopaedia, and we should be aiming for the facts; the redirect can take care of the popularised name. ῤerspeκὖlὖm in ænigmate ( talk ) 13:32, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
True, and Wikipedia also has a policy that says exactly what you are suggesting here. See WP:IOR. Andrewa (talk) 03:31, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support: Makes sense. Shorter name, easier access Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 15:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not only is it incorrect, it is an acronym that would prompt an obvious question of "what does it stand for?" - and the answer to that would be misleading. Also, if it comes down to weighting of reliable sources it will be a contest between thousands of official British government documents vs tabloid newspapers and journalists who try to make money off the name by writing some really quite awful books. We have a redirect, let's not perpetuate something that was corrected nearly 90 years ago. Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:13, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose There comes a point where you have to stop blindly following a simplistic verison of policy (ALR's interpretation is spot on) and do the right thing. In serious circles, it is refered to solely as SIS. To revert to that silly nickname won't help anyone. ninety:one 21:23, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support I think the preference to the official name, academic works and official government documents over media outlets seems to be the opposite of what WP:NAME says: The choice of article titles should put ... [the interests] of a general audience before those of specialists. Those who oppose the proposal seems to think the use of MI6 is out of ignorance and not reliable at all. Not so. For example, Encyclopædia Britannica uses MI6 as the article title and notes formally Secret Intelligence Service at the beginning. --Kusunose 02:06, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Surely the interest of the general public audience is to have the correct title of a public organisation? It is only journalists and popular historians (i.e. specialists) who are deliberately misleading their audience (as with your EB example). Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:35, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
EB are totally wrong, it 's more the other way around! It's explained very clearly here. ninety:one 21:11, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure you can mount a case for this, but Wikipedia policy currently takes a different view. Andrewa (talk) 03:31, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
As highlighted above, the actual wording of the guidance is open to interpretation, but the point made by Wiki-Ed is very valid. Is wikipedia really in the game of converting accurate information to incorrect merely because a greater number of unreliable sources say it? The issue here is whether all sources are equal.
ALR (talk) 07:47, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Disagree that the wording of the guideline can be stretched quite that far. There is nothing inaccurate in the proposed title. Andrewa (talk) 16:21, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes there is. It's an acronym which, if expanded, infers the organisation is involved in military intelligence. This would be inaccurate and misleading. Wiki-Ed (talk) 22:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose remain with SIS as official name. Buckshot06 (talk) 22:49, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose so should we also now call the United Kingdom UK as it makes sense. Shorter name, easier access ? If you search on MI6 it comes back as Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) --Jim Sweeney (talk) 10:41, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

History of the Secret Service[edit]

I noticed a drastic discrepancy between the English and the German edition of this article. The German edition of the Wikipedia says that the Intelligence Service has been founded by Sir Francis Walsingham, who lived from 1532 to 1590. According to the German version the first successes were the prevention of several assassination attempts to Queen Elizabeth I. Thomasd5 (talk) 01:11, 9 July 2010 (UTC)


Why is the Iranian coup called a success?Keith-264 (talk) 14:53, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

SIS headquarters[edit]

A number of other buildings are reported[who?] to be in use by the agency including Fort Monckton in Gosport, Hampshire.[citation needed] This sentence is speculative at best and has not been referenced since it was requested in Dec 2011. It should be removed. Thank you Horation12 (talk) 11:20, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:SOFIXIT ;-) -- KTC (talk) 12:35, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Secret Intelligence ServiceMI6 — MI6 is the most common name for this particular service. It's also depict in the logo of the organisation and it's sister organisation the Security Service is also titled MI5 on Wikipedia. So to be consistent this page better be moved to MI6.--Wester (talk) 17:43, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Secret Intelligence Service is the correct name; I think it is the MI5 article that should be moved. Dormskirk (talk) 20:42, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Surely the best idea would be to title the articles:- Security Service MI5 and Secret Intelligence Service MI6. This would then correspond with their respective official logos. David J Johnson (talk) 22:44, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Possible joke[edit]

The picture of the Englishman in a Chinese outfit seems to be a joke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

The use of The Metro and The Daily Star as sources also seems to be a joke. -- Hillbillyholiday talk 07:55, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


Mansfield is said to have built a post-imperial intelligence service. This might refer to the independence of Ireland in 1922. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:52, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

MI6 like any kind of secret integence It'so important for U.K and to all rhe world! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:03, 29 March 2014 (UTC)