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Last updated at 11:10 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

News Words: Intelligence

Top Secret document

The BBC's Clare Arthurs looks at some of the words and phrases often used in the news and their meanings in various contexts.

This week: intelligence


Clare Arthurs on: Intelligence

Expressions with 'intelligence'

intelligence services

secret organisations that work for a government

MI5 and MI6 are two of Britain's intelligence services.

the intelligence community

the different secret groups that work together from different organisations or different countries

It is not going to be a comfortable day for the [many] headed US intelligence community ... (BBC News)

an intelligence operation

a mission to get information secretly

The investigation into the London bombings shifts towards intelligence operations out of the public eye. (BBC News)

an intelligence-led operation

a mission that is carried out using information gathered secretly

The arrests of the men aged 23 and 49 are the latest under the intelligence-led operation launched in July. (BBC News)

an intelligence operative

someone who works for an intelligence service, for example, a spy

James Bond is perhaps the most famous fictional intelligence operative.

A challenge for you

Should the work of the intelligence services be more public? Or, do you think it's necessary there are things that happen we don't know about?

Send us your short 'news story' on this topic and don't forget to use the word 'intelligence'.

We'll publish our favourites on this page.

This topic has now closed. Thanks for all your comments.

Andres, Spain
Intelligence service are necessary, of course. We only should think how many events similar to "September, 11th" would have happened since 2001 if USA or other international intelligence services did not have figured out the intentions of the terrorist groups.

Jean-Paul, DRC
The work of the intelligence services should not be more public in each country of the world because it needs a certain dose of camouflage as the more you become friendly to people ,the more you acquire more in formation.However ,you should avoid to become too popular to people for a sustainable success of intelligence services.

Nguyen, Vietnam
For me, "intelligence services" are organisations that keep state secrets and military secrets. So, like Nguyen Van, I think that this kind of work is very important, sometimes is very dangerous, too.

Erzsike, Hungary
The work of intelligence services is a necessary evil in every country. Although it is not an ethical act by the governments, collecting information about certain cases can be not only useful but of crucial importance. Let's think of terrorism or mafias. What the hell should a society do against them without intelligence operatives? As far as there are criminals, intelligence services are needed. The question itself is ridiculous if you ask me. What's the point in having a "public intelligence service"? It's like selling books without pages or putting out a forest fire by spitting. :)

Krzysztof, Poland
In my opinion the intelligence servives is very important but it's a hard to say something about it because they are protecting by the gavernment.

Nguyen Van, Vietnam
The intelligence services work for the government of each nation. So, this kind of work is very special and important. Not only the news but also the people work in the intelligence services can not reveal. To my mind, the information of intelligence services should keep secret.

Barbara, Mexico
I think intelligence services should not exist. This is only because treaties and alliances have failed or have been misused so there is the need to search more information about the others doing. To try to find a point in which everybody compromises to follow the rules, such practices would not take place.

Ronsito, Spain
As the world goes, I think it's absolutely necessary for a country to have such "Intelligence Services". Everyone knows about their existence. They are not "secret organizaions", and I think that nobody doubts about their utility ( in my country, for counterterrorism operations ... I know for sure they have saved lives ). But what makes the difference - in a democracy - is that we - the citizens - can be informed by the journalists - perhaps not inmediatly - when one of such services is not behaving properly. This is what makes a difference.

Marika, Estonia
I belive that intelligence services are in every country. In Soviet Union such agencies were very powerful, prevalent and developed.

Jamil, Bangladesh
intelligence is rather important job for any country when it'll do their job for the sake of their country.However,when any intelligence authority is going to interfere on other countries affairs,then,on my view it is the worst thing for ever.

Mazhar Ali, Pakistan
As for as i can see the intelligence is like back bone of a country.there are two things to understand firstly if a institution working by fits and starts then its wrong to mention it correct and secondly if a secret agency work with hert and soul then its right that every thing to be kept secret.

Nguyen Tien Hoa, Singapore
Intelligence services that secret agents working for a government are aimed at collecting information about the secret activities of criminals and foreign governments to serve national interests and protect state security. In my view, the intelligence service's works should be kept secret to fulfill their mission.

Selina, China
In my opinion,the intelligence necessarily exist in the world,among not only political area but also commerciality.nowadays,every country government has intelligence service. more often than not government attain many benefit information from the other one through their own intelligence.furthermore,they might have the highest secret information of many countries that would be critical for countries' safety and conclusion,i disagree the intelligence service to be more public,besides it should be sustained secretly.

Julia, Spain
I think that the work of the intelligence services souldn't be more public. For example in some investigations if people know what's happenng they won't know what to do and they'll panic.

Aung Soe, Burma (Myanmar)
Intelligence service is need in every countries because terrorists are very harmful in everywhere but sometimes it is very annoying to honest people.That is why, you should do it by limit . Sometimes you should analysis your work.

Golalai Tajqurghan, Kabul
The matter isn't to have intelligence services more public, the question is : Is there any compatibility with democracy?Looking inside history, for example the weight of CIA in central and south America governments during the 70's, or general suspicion at the time of Maccarthysm during the 50's, we can be doubtful.

Marwa, Iraq
I supposed that Intelligence agency should be a top secret, to keep secrets and state security, prevent information leaks and prevent chaos in the community. Therefor people who work in intelligence should be top intelligent.

Daniel, Hong Kong
I partly agree it. From my perspective, intelligence services are not honorable because no one would be happy of being kept under surveillance secretly. But from the point of view of security of people's lives, for example, if someone is investigating super virus, which is something endager human's life, I do think it should be revealed publicly.

Hiep, Vietnam
In a nation, Intelligence services should work in secret because of citizen's safety.But it isn't necessary for using secret infomation with lucrative purpose for own nation

Lucie, Canada
Intelligence service is necessary for the country security. Most of time now It play an important role in the public area such as some great ceremony happened. I don't think it need to let us to know how they work because it should keep in secrete.

Managua, Nicaragua
Hello, I ponder intelligence data is the cornerstone of our security because with that information our intelligence agency is able to foresee which are the plans that the enemy have planned with the intelligence that they have even recollected.

Eric, France
Of course not !!! Intelligence services must remain in the field of secret matters. The necessity of keeping secret the way of dealing with an important political or international issue, often is , if always not, the garantee of success.I can't imagine german nazis knowing the date and spot of the landing of 1944...

Abigail, UK
In comparison with intelligence services of former Soviet bloc countries, the Western counterparts are much more open to public review. In my opinion, any disclosure of methods of work, training, and operational standards, as well as details from ongoing or recent operations, can potentially cost lives; and for this reason, these topics cannot be discussed in public. However, strong internal and Parliamentary control, and clear procedures for dealing with failures, are vital to maintain public confidence in the intelligence service of a democratic state.

Nguyen Thao, Vietnam
In my opinion, the work of the intelligence services should be secret because of its functions. In order to protect country, the govement has it own secret activities as well as information about military plans of an enemy.

Adriano, Brazil
In my opinion, the information generated by intelligence service need to be restricted in order to ensure an adequate analysis of the cases.However is necessary intelligence organizations that respect the society rights.

Dough, Korea
I think It is necessary that some of facts which would make confuse publics should be hid by organisations. Of course We have right to know, But There are lots of Information that is hid by intelligence services.

Natalya, Kazakhstan
I reckon that intelligence services should not be more public because it can influence the national security in a bad way, for example, if some coverted documents be published, it will lead to not good outcomes.

Thierry, France
The matter isn't to have intelligence services more public, the question is : Is there any compatibility with democracy?Looking inside history, for example the weight of CIA in central and south America governments during the 70's, or general suspicion at the time of Maccarthysm during the 50's, we can be doubtful. Of course French, Briton, Russian intelligence services weren't and aren't better than CIA.Nowadays artificial intelligence give a more powerful way for eavesdropping and surveillance. So intelligence services are more and more powerful and consequently our freedom is more and more in danger. Perhaps it's time to have an intelligent and public debate on this topic.

Henrique, Brazil
There is a intelligence services in Brasil to, it's like a FBI from USA. The investigations have a curious names, and this is one of them, Pandora's box ... to talk about corruption in the government.

Ghalia , Syria
I think that no two people in this world will approve the work of intelligence agencies .It's sometimee very annoying to know that those people who work in these agencies are spying on you and they know what you do every second.However , I think their work is very important for the safety of your country.As we say in Arabic the two things are living with their scrutiny or living without.


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