MI5 vs. MI6

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

British Secret Services MI5 or MI6, What is the difference?

MI5 (like in the James Bond movies!) and more recently MI6 appear in the international news from time to time. Do they have different jobs or is there an overlap? Is it like the FBI and CIA distinction, or is there more to it than that?

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

The Security Service (MI5), based at Thames House in London, is the UK’s security intelligence Agency, responsible for protecting the UK, its citizens and interests, at home and overseas, against the major threats to national security. Meanwhile, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), based at Vauxhall Cross in London, is primarily responsible for gathering intelligence outside the UK in support of the government’s security, defence, foreign and economic policies.



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