Greece, Intelligence and Security
Agents of espionage have been employed in the area corresponding to the modern nation of Greece for thousands of years. Spies are mentioned in the works the philosophers and playwrights of ancient Greece, giving the Grecian intelligence community one of the longest lineages and traditions in the world. However, scant comparisons can be drawn between ancient Greece and modern Greece, and their individual employment of intelligence services. Today, Greece maintains a sophisticated civilian intelligence force that utilizes human, signals, communications, and electronic intelligence gathering techniques.
Greece's main intelligence agency is the Hellenic National Intelligence Service (NIS). A recent government reform and restructuring of the Grecian intelligence community expanded the role of the NIS to include both domestic and foreign intelligence operations, and added a counter-terrorism unit to the agency's permanent staff. The NIS is charged with the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence information necessary for the protection of national security. In addition, routine counterintelligence operations, including testing the security of the national communications infrastructure, fall under the jurisdiction of the NIS.
Although the National Intelligence Service is a civilian organization, Greece also maintains limited military intelligence forces, embedded within operational units of the military.
Greece is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Diplomatic negotiations with Turkey over extensive maritime and territorial border disputes are ongoing, but have yielded little consensus between the two nations over national water boundaries in the Aegean Sea. The two nations continue to disagree over the partitioning of neighboring Cyprus.
█ FURTHER READING:
Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook, 2002. "Greece" < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/gr.html > (March 30, 2003).