MI6 was founded in 1909. It is the British spying agency. It only operates outside the UK. MI6 has its headquarters in London just south of the Thames. It is a publicly acknowledged fact where the MI6 building is.
MI stands for military intelligence. The information MI6 gathers is also about economics and politics.
MI6 only has British people as officers. These man and women usually have a degree. They will be approached and asked to join. They then sign the Official Secrets Act agreeing not to disclose any of the private information they have about MI6.
MI6 officers mostly work at their desks in London. Sometimes they go abroad to spy on other countries. Sometimes they go under diplomatic cover. That means they go as a British diplomat. So they will work at the British Embassy in another country. They do a little diplomatic work but most of the time they are spying. An MI6 officer who is abroad as a diplomat is a ‘legal’. Because he or she is a diplomat this person cannot be arrested. He or she will be declared to the local government and work as a liaison with the intelligence service of that country. For example, if a British diplomat who is an MI6 officer goes to France then she or he will be announced to the French Government. The worst that can happen to a legal is that the government of that country demands that the person go home.
MI6 officers usually go abroad as ‘illegals”. That means they are not diplomats and they can be arrested. Illegals pose as business executives, scientific researchers, journalists, charity workers and so on. They have an excuse to meet people and travel around the country. They are spying. If they are caught they can be punished.
MI6 officers try to recruit agents. An agent is someone of the nationality that MI6 wishes to spy on. For instance, MI6 may persuade an Iranian politician to give them information or to plant a bug. The Iranian politician will do this for a number of reasons. He might like the United Kingdom and hate his own government. Maybe he does it for money. He might be being blackmailed. He might do it because he wants to go and live in the UK later. Perhaps he is doing it to get a friend released from prison. It could be a combination of different motives.
Spies who are arrested abroad are imprisoned and usually exchanged after a few years.
1. When was MI6 founded?
2. What is an MI6 officer?
3. WHat is an MI6 agent?
4. Where is the MI6 HQ?
5. What is blackmail?
6. Give a possible reason for someone to be an agent?
7. Does MI6 operate in the UK?
8. What is the role of MI6?
9. What is a legal?
10. Why is MI6 needed?