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Federal Intelligence Service
(in German) Nachrichtendienst des Bundes
(in French) Service de renseignement de la Confédération
(in Italian) Servizio delle attività informative della Confederazione
(in Romansh) Servetsch d'infurmaziun da la Confederaziun
Logo der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft.svg
Agency overview
JurisdictionFederal administration of Switzerland
Minister responsible
Parent agencyFederal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports

The Swiss intelligence community is a group of agencies with responsibilities to protect the interests and infrastructure of Switzerland.[2]


The first federal military secret service was established in 1937-1939 as Büro Ha by Hans Hausamann[3] a few years before the outbreak of the Second World War. Up to that point, intelligence gathering was left to the responsibility of the police.[4]

Cold War Intelligence

Not much is known about the Swiss intelligence agencies; however, case files from the Swiss Federal Police have been recently uncovered showing information regarding Swiss intelligence dealing with the People's Republic of China. During this time period of approximately 1960-1980 Switzerland's main goal regarding intelligence was the threat of communism within the country. What was found in the case files, and one way they would combat communism is through the system of fiches. Fiches was a system of index cards that tracked any sort of anti-patriotic actions performed by anyone in Switzerland. The system seemed to be successful with a recorded 900,000 cards made during the Cold War, and about 25,000 cards made for people of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent. The ultimate goal of fiches was to ward off any potential communist threats that might cause harm to Switzerland.[5]

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Federal Intelligence Service

As of 1 January 2010, there is a new security policy instrument in Switzerland, the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) (German: Nachrichtendienst des Bundes, NDB; French: Service de renseignement de la Confédération, SRC; Italian: Servizio delle attività informative della Confederazione, SIC; Romansh: Servetsch da las activitads infurmativs da la Confederaziun, SIC). The new service was created by merging the Service for Analysis and Prevention (DAP) with the Strategic Intelligence Service (SND). Through the use of synergies and consistent adjustment to the needs of the service recipients a powerful intelligence service was created which is adapted to meet modern requirements and which forms the future contact for all levels of the Confederation and the cantons.

Partners and service recipients

The partners and service recipients of the FIS are the political and military leaders, the federal administration, in particular the departments:

Abroad the FIS maintains contacts to more than 100 intelligence, police and security services throughout the world. These bilateral and multilateral contacts have all been authorised by the Federal Council.


The FIS's activities and mandate were defined by statute in the Federal Civil Intelligence Act 1997[6]

And according to the Federal Civil Intelligence Act[7]

The thematic and geographic areas of interest are:


The Federal Intelligence Service produces an annual report called Switzerland's Security, available for download on the FIS website.[8]

For instance, in September 2020, about the China–Switzerland relations, the report said that:[9][10]

The gap between the Western liberal model and China's authoritarian state capitalism will widen further. Reports on the regime's propaganda, disinformation campaigns, censorship and severe repression of its opponents in Hong Kong and ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang mark the growing international perception of the threat posed by China.


In 2017, the FIS' budget was CHF75.6 million.[1]

Other Swiss intelligence agencies

Military Intelligence Service

The Military Intelligence Service (German: Militärischer Nachrichtendienst; French: Service de renseignement militaire; Italian: Servizio informazioni militare) is the military intelligence branch of the Armed Forces.

Postal Service and Telecommunications Surveillance

The Postal Service and Telecommunications Surveillance (French: Surveillance de la correspondance par poste et télécommunication, SCPT; German: Überwachung Post- und Fernmeldeverkehr, ÜPF; Italian: Sorveglianza della corrispondenza postale e del traffico delle telecomunicazioni, SCPT; Romansh: surveglianza dal traffic da posta e da telecommunicaziun, STPT) is a service within the Federal Department of Justice and Police (since 1 January 2008) charged with coordinating wiretapping requests of the criminal investigation authorities.

International cooperation

FIS has collaborated with over 100 foreign intelligence agencies.[1] In 2017, the FIS received approximately 12,500 notifications from foreign intelligence agencies, and sent out 6,000.[1]


In 2012, a senior IT technician stole crucial intelligence documents.[11]

In 2014, an agent of the Federal Intelligence Services is involved in a hacking case against journalists[12] acting for Dominique Giroud [fr], the Swiss winemaker.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Swiss secret service continues to expand". Swissinfo. 15 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Federal Intelligence Service" (PDF). Swiss Confederation. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  3. ^ Campbell, Kenneth J. (2011). "A Swiss Spy". American Intelligence Journal. 29 (2): 159–162. JSTOR 26201964.
  4. ^ "Lifting the curtain on the Swiss intelligence service".
  5. ^ Knüsel, Ariane (2020). "Swiss Counterintelligence and Chinese Espionage during the Cold War". Journal of Cold War Studies. 22 (3): 4–31. doi:10.1162/jcws_a_00949. ISSN 1520-3972.
  6. ^ "Fedlex".
  7. ^ "Fedlex".
  8. ^ "Federal Intelligence Service". Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.
  9. ^ (in French) Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, "La sécurité de la Suisse 2020", September 2020 (page visited on 14 November 2020)
  10. ^ Frédéric Koller (14 November 2020). "Quelle stratégie suisse envers la Chine ?". Le Temps (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Swiss spy agency warns U.S., Britain about huge data leak". 4 December 2012 – via
  12. ^ "Winemaker, hacker, snoop and spy arrested for hacking in effort to find leak about Swiss probe". Fox News. 8 January 2015.