Talk:Secret Intelligence Service

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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. 209.121.88.198 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)

Flat Earth News, by Nick Davies, gives the date of official acknowledgement of the existence of MI6 by the British Government as 1992. You'd hope a book about journalistic truth would be accurate. I'm not confident I can make a reference without screwing up though. 92.24.101.30 (talk) 20:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

World Assembly of Youth[edit]

Hi, I would like to request that a section on WAY be added. The setup and financing of World Assembly of Youth in the late 1940s was an "anti-Communist" operation by MI6. Management & financing of it later passed to the CIA in the USA, but I think MI6 kept a hand in.

It would be interesting to find the names of the first students recruited by MI6 to set up WAY and staff it; and the names of MI6 people who vetted and recruited the students.

It would be interesting to know if any of the Soviet spies, Philby, Burgess, etc., crossed paths with the WAY operation, as in years that followed, some Catholics alleged that WAY was a Communist front.

Reading here about all the Soviet penetration of MI6 near the period when WAY was set up, I wonder if WAY might have become Soviet-influenced or infiltrated.24.201.231.71 (talk) 06:25, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

WAY has its own article, though no connection to MI6 is mentioned. Do you have any WP:RS to back any of your speculations? DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 23:42, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Using "MI6" in the infobox[edit]

There appears to be no legitimate reason behind listing the name "MI6" in the infobox. Firstly, it has been placed under the parameter "nativename", which, is according to the template usage, an "agency name in a native language using Western characters"; in this case, the article is in English so this parameter should not need to be used at all. Secondly, the official name of the agency is Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) as noted in the lead paragraph; "MI6", is a name that, according to the SIS' website (scroll down to "1920"), "officially fell into disuse years ago [but] many writers and journalists continue to use it to describe SIS". Thirdly, the fact that "MI6" is an alternate name is already included in the lead paragraph, so it is not needed in the infobox. I propose removing the name "MI6" from the infobox for these reasons (keep in mind that this is for the infobox only, the name can still be used within the article). – Nick Mitchell 98 talk 05:20, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Despite officially falling into "disuse", it is used all over there website and is in there logo. And "MI6" is an "agency name in a native language". "It's in the lead so it doesn't need to be in the infobox" could be used to justify removing most information from the infobox. That's not the point of the infobox. See WP:INFOBOXPURPOSE. An alternative name is a "key fact that appear[s] in the article". Rob984 (talk) 08:06, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
In fairness, whether to include alternative names in the infobox seems to vary across Wikipedia. But there certainly is "legitimate reason" behind it. In this case I don't think it does any great harm. Rob984 (talk) 08:14, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Oppose MI6 is far better known in the United Kingdom and has been incorporated in the logo of the Secret Intelligence Service logo for the past few years. Indeed, the term MI6 was the prominent term in last year's recruitment drive advertisements by the agency and is used in majority of mentions in parliament and press. This may not be well known in Australia, but is in the United Kingdom. David J Johnson (talk) 11:39, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Without speaking specifically from the perspective of any particular antipodean nation, I confirm that MI6 is well-known outside the United Kingdom, far more so than SIS; not least through the works of Ian Fleming & Cubby Broccoli. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 12:41, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not talking about whether the term is well-known inside or outside of Britain, because it is. My point is that "MI6" is not the official name for the agency and should not be included in the infobox. – Nick Mitchell 98 talk 13:56, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
You say that MI6 is not the official name and yet it is included in the latest official logo and given top billing in recent recruitment advertising in the United Kingdom. Sorry, but my view is that it should stay within the info box. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 15:28, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

"Minister Responsible"[edit]

The "Minister Responsible" line in the info-box seems to have mislead a lot of people into loudly opining that Boris Johnson is "now in charge of the MI6". This isn't actually true, since the direct line of over-sight goes through the Joint Intelligence Committee (United Kingdom) to the Cabinet Office. Perhaps the infobox needs some clarification that "Minister Responsible" doesn't mean he's in the command chain. (The responsibility seems more in terms of keeping them funded.) --Barberio 11:42, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The Foreign Secretary has oversight over the SIS/MI6, the Home Secretary has oversight over MI5. JIC is a committee of the SIS, MI5 and other intelligence chiefs. Cantab1985 (talk) 11:49, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
See https://www.sis.gov.uk/our-mission.html "lex Younger is the sixteenth Chief of SIS and the only serving member of the Service officially named in public. And like every Chief since the very first, within the service, Alex is simply known as “C” and writes only in green pen. Since taking up his post in November 2014, C is at the helm of all operations globally. Held accountable by the Foreign Secretary..." https://www.mi5.gov.uk/people-and-organisation "MI5 operates under the statutory authority of the Home Secretary..." Cantab1985 (talk) 11:53, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Held accountable, and being responsible for, are not the same things as being in charge of. I know that's confusing and counter intuitive, but yes Boris Johnson gets to be responsible for the MI6, but the Cabinet Office are the ones who tell MI6 (through the JIC) what they are to do. The JIC is not just a coordinating committee, it's the director of the intelligence services that is controlled by the Cabinet office. --Barberio 12:14, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Splitting hairs. JIC simply sets the overall collection priorities for the agencies. Ministers are responsible for how they operate, which includes signing off individual operations. So Boris is, indeed, in charge of MI6. Wiki-Ed (talk) 18:58, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Exactly Wiki-Ed. From JIC website direct: The role of the Joint Intelligence Committee is:
  • to assess events and situations relating to external affairs, defence, terrorism, major international criminal activity, scientific, technical and international economic matters and other transnational issues, drawing on secret intelligence, diplomatic reporting and open source material
  • to monitor and give early warning of the development of direct and indirect threats and opportunities in those fields to British interests or policies and to the international community as a whole

to keep under review threats to security at home and overseas and to deal with such security problems as may be referred to it

  • to contribute to the formulation of statements of the requirements and priorities for intelligence gathering and other tasks to be conducted by the intelligence agencies

to maintain oversight of the intelligence community’s analytical capability through the Professional Head of Intelligence Analysis

JIC draws the collective evidence of all security agencies, ministerial departments and even military intelligence and then briefs relevant (senior) Cabinet Secretaries of State. SIS, MI5 and GCHQ run their operations, but Ministerial oversight rest with two Secretaries of State--Foreign Secretary for SIS and GCHQ and MI5 falls under the Home Secretary.Cantab1985 (talk) 05:06, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

It is also not so much about the SofS of Foreign Affairs and the Commmonwealth of the day be his responsibilities. So it's not Boris J.Cantab1985 (talk) 05:13, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/61808/nim-november2010.pdf See the map on page 18 and the JIC and JIO articles.Cantab1985 (talk) 06:12, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
And clearly, this is beyond Wikipedia it is becoming a discussion. End.Cantab1985 (talk) 14:08, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

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