CIA vs FBI - Difference and Comparison - Deepstash

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Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

  • The CIA was established on September 18, 1947, when President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947
  • Through the National Security Act, the CIA is responsible of coordinating the nation's intelligence activities that affects national security
  • Their main priorities are mainly focused on overseas intel gathering. It is also the only agency that is authorized for covert action


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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

  • The FBI was established on July 25, 1908. It was originally a force of special agents during the rise of progressivism in America
  • Their parent agency are the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Their main priority is to serve both as a federal criminal investigative bodyand an internal intelligence agency. They're like the "national police department"


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The mission of the FBI

"To protect and and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners."


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The mission of the CIA

"To collect, evluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence to assist the president and senior U.S. government policymakers in making decisions relating to the national security. The CIA does not make policy; it is an independent source of foreign intelligence information for those who do. The CIA may also engage in covert action at the president's direction in accordance with applicable law."


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The Organizational Structure of the CIA and the FBI

The CIA has four major directorates:

  1. The Directorate of intelligence
  2. The National Clandestine Service 
  3. The Directorate of Support
  4. The Directorate of Science and Technology

While, the FBI has five functional branches:

  1. National Security Branch
  2. Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch
  3. Human Resources Branch
  4. Science and Technology Branch
  5. Information and Technology Branch


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Requirements to join the CIA or the FBI

Requirements for the CIA:

  • U.S. citizen
  • 18 years of age
  • High school graduate; but to be an overseas officer, intelligence analyst, and other non-clerical positions you must have a college degree
  • Foreign language, not required but would helpful

Requirements for the FBI:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • With no criminal record
  • Has a four year college degree
  • Must pass a background test, physical test, and a polygraph test
  • Selected applicants will undergo 21 weeks of training at the FBI Academy


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