List of intelligence agencies of France

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This is a list of current and former French intelligence agencies .


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Directorate-General for External Security Frances external intelligence agency

The General Directorate for External Security is France's external intelligence agency. The French equivalent to the United Kingdom's MI6 and the United States' CIA, the DGSE operates under the direction of the French Ministry of Defence and works alongside its domestic counterpart, the DGSI, in providing intelligence and safeguarding national security, notably by performing paramilitary and counterintelligence operations abroad. As with most other intelligence agencies, details of its operations and organization are not made public.

The Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage, abbreviated SDECE, was France's external intelligence agency from 6 November 1944 to 2 April 1982, when it was replaced by the Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE). It should not be confused with the Deuxième Bureau which was intended to pursue purely military intelligence.

The Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire was a directorate of the French National Police operating as a domestic intelligence agency. It was responsible for counterespionage, counterterrorism and more generally the security of France against foreign threats and interference. It was created in 1944 with its headquarters situated at 7 rue Nélaton in Paris. On 1 July 2008, it was merged with the Direction centrale des renseignements généraux into the new Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur.

Former agencies

The Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action, abbreviated BCRA, was the World War II-era forerunner of the SDECE, the French intelligence service. The BCRA was created by the Free French chief-of-staff in 1940, and it was commanded by Major André Dewavrin, who had taken the nom de guerre, "Colonel Passy".

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

The Deuxième Bureau de l'État-major général was France's external military intelligence agency from 1871 to 1940. It was dissolved together with the Third Republic upon the armistice with Germany. However the term "Deuxième Bureau", like "MI5" or "SMERSH", outlived the original organization as a general label for the country's intelligence service.

See also

History of espionage aspect of history

Spying, as well as other intelligence assessment, has existed since ancient times. In the 1980s scholars characterized foreign intelligence as "the missing dimension" of historical scholarship." Since then a large popular and scholarly literature has emerged. Special attention has been paid to World War II, as well as the Cold War era (1947–1989) that was a favorite for novelists and film makers.

The Club de Berne is an intelligence sharing forum between the intelligence services of the 28 states of the European Union (EU), Norway and Switzerland, named after the city of Bern. It is an institution based on voluntary exchange of secrets, experience and views as well as discussing problems. The Club has existed since 1971 and has no secretariat and takes no decisions.

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BCRA is an initialism that can represent:

National Police (France) main civil law enforcement agency of France

The National Police, formerly known as the Sûreté nationale, is one of two national police forces, along with the National Gendarmerie, and the main civil law enforcement agency of France, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. The other main agency is the military Gendarmerie, with primary jurisdiction in smaller towns and rural and border areas. The National Police comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and has about 145,699 employees.

The Direction Centrale des Renseignements Généraux, often called Renseignements Généraux (RG), was the intelligence service of the French police, answerable to the Direction Générale de la Police Nationale (DGPN), and, ultimately, the Ministry of the Interior. It was also in charge of the monitoring of gambling places and horse racing ranges.

Haitian National Police the law enforcement and defense force of Haiti

The Haitian National Police, is the law enforcement and de facto police force of Haiti. It was created in 1995 to bring public security under civilian control as mandated in Haiti's constitution. More than 8,500 police officers have completed training in modern law enforcement.

The Agence Nationale de Renseignements (ANR) is a government intelligence agency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The role of the agency is to ensure "internal security and external security" of the state. The agency was strongly criticized for the disrespect of human rights by several organisations. Inzun Kakiak has led the agency since 2019.

While the CIA cooperates with its French counterpart, the DGSE, the countries do collect information on one another, especially in the economic and scientific areas.

General Directorate for Internal Security France interior intelligence agency

The General Directorate for Internal Security is a French intelligence agency. It is charged with counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, countering cybercrime and surveillance of potentially threatening groups, organisations, and social phenomena.

The Direction générale des études et recherches, was a division of the Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action (BCRA), the intelligence agency of the Free French Forces, Charles de Gaulle's French government-in-exile in London. It was created in 1944, and Jacques Soustelle was the first director, from 6 November 1944 to 18 April 1945, followed by André Dewavrin until April 1946, when the DGER became the Service de documentation extérieure et de contre-espionnage (SDECE).


DPSD is the abbreviation of Direction de la Protection et de la Sécurité de la Défense, a French security agency which is part of the Ministry of Defence.

Lebanese State Security

The Lebanese State Security is the Lebanese National Security Agency, directly attached to both, the Lebanese president and prime minister.

Pierre Marion was a French senior official, who was the first director of the Directorate-General for External Security from 1981 to 1982, and its predecessor, the Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage (SDECE).

Lustre (treaty) secret treaty between France and certain Anglosphere countries

Lustre is the codename of a secret treaty signed by France and the Five Eyes (FVEY) for cooperation in signals intelligence and for mutual data exchange between their respective intelligence agencies. Its existence was revealed during the 2013 global surveillance disclosure based on documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The DGED or the General Directorate for Studies and Documentation is the external intelligence agency of Morocco, which also has some diplomatic prerogatives. It is presided by Yassine Mansouri, one of the influential classmates of king Mohammed VI.