British intelligence agency
(Redirected from SIS)

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6,[1] is the United Kingdom's intelligence agency which collects intelligence about foreign countries.[2] It is a branch of the Foreign Service, and it reports to the Joint Intelligence Committee.

The SIS building at Vauxhall Cross, London, seen from Vauxhall Bridge

The service was formed in 1909 as the Secret Service Bureau, but its existence was not officially acknowledged until 1994.[3]

The service works with the Security Service (MI5), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the Defence Intelligence (DIS). SIS deal with the United Kingdom's espionage (spying) activities outside the United Kingdom.

The headquarters are at Vauxhall Cross in London in a purpose-built building. The building was approved in 1988 and completed in 1994. The cost of the project was £135 million for site purchase and the basic building or £152.6 million including the service's special requirements.[4] In John le Carré novels the building is called The River House.



  1. SIS or MI6. What's in a name? Archived 2006-11-15 at the Wayback Machine on the MI6 web page
  2. Dorril, Stephen 2002. MI6: inside the covert world of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service. Simon and Schuster.
  3. Whitehead, Jennifer (2005-10-13). "MI6 to boost recruitment prospects with launch of first website — Brand Republic News". Brandrepublic.com. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  4. Thames House and Vauxhall Cross Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, 18 February 2000. [1]

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