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the collective term for the network of intelligence and counterintelligence agencies in Great Britain.
This network includes the Secret Intelligence Service, which is the central agency for intelligence; the Security Service, which is the central agency for counterintelligence; and the intelligence and counterintelligence agencies of various departments. The coordinating body for the intelligence services is the Joint Intelligence Committee under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The general direction of intelligence activity is carried out by the government. The British Intelligence Service, whose creation dates back to the late 15th and early 16th centuries, operates by means of highly sophisticated methods, often resorting to organized conspiracies, terrorist actions, bribery, blackmail, political provocations, and ideological subversion. The main efforts of the Intelligence Service, which are closely coordinated with the intelligence agencies of the other NATO powers, are directed above all against the USSR and the other socialist countries, against the national liberation and democratic movement, and against progressive organizations in Great Britain.