An intelligence agency
is a governmental organization devoted to gathering of information by means of espionage
), communication interception, cryptoanalysis
, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public sources.
Intelligence agencies are also involved in defensive activities such as counter-espionage or counter-terrorism.
Some agencies are involved in assassination, arms sales as well as coups d'etat and other covert operations, in order to support their own or their governments' interests, and the placement of misinformation (propaganda).