|Motto:||The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence.|
Operation Neptune Spear
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the U.S. Government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and his Cabinet.
Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic collection. The CIA is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action on behalf of the President unless the President determines that another agency is better suited for carrying out such action. It can, for example, exert foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.
The CIA has increasingly expanded its roles, including covert paramilitary operations. One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations. While the CIA has had some recent accomplishments, such as locating Osama bin Laden and taking part in the successful Operation Neptune Spear, it has also been involved in controversial programs such as extraordinary rendition and enhanced interrogation techniques.