The difference between the CIA and the FBI.

Among the most famous intelligence services in the world are the American CIA and the FBI. What does each of them do?

What is the CIA doing?

The CIA is one of the agencies established by the US federal government. The main function of this special service is foreign intelligence. The CIA collects and analyzes data on foreign citizens, official structures of other states. The headquarters of the organization is located in Langley, Virginia.

The CIA was established in 1947. The predecessor of this organization was the Office of Strategic Services, which operated during the Second World War.

The main activities of the CIA:

  1. collection of information through agents;
  2. evaluation of the data obtained, comparing them with current tasks;
  3. interaction with other US intelligence agencies on various issues.

It should be noted that the CIA is not a military but a civilian organization. Agency agents are engaged in tactical preparation for missions. However, it is carried out, as a rule, by experienced military personnel representing the best special forces of the US Army.

The director of the intelligence agency in question is appointed to office by the President of the United States, subject to Senate approval. The head of the CIA is subordinate to the head of state. Also, the CIA provides for the positions of deputy director and assistants on various issues.

What is the FBI doing?

The FBI is a US federal agency engaged in law enforcement, mainly domestically. The most important tasks of the FBI are counterintelligence, as well as countering terrorism.

The powers of the FBI are to investigate incidents involving violations of US federal laws, a threat to the safety of citizens and the president. The FBI is actively involved in screening the identities of candidates for public service in the United States.

The secret service in question was established in 1908. Initially, its name sounded like the Bureau of Investigation. It has a modern name since 1935.

The FBI played an important role in overcoming the social consequences of the Great Depression in the United States, countering criminal groups. During the Second World War, the Bureau was able to stop a number of sabotage by German special agents. Until the 1980s, the FBI was particularly active in counterintelligence activities.

Now the FBI continues to solve various tasks within the framework of the main areas of work - counterintelligence, protection of citizens from terrorism, control over compliance with the norms of US federal laws. The most important functions of the secret service include combating corruption, the activities of drug dealers, and provocations of radical public associations.

The Director of the FBI, like the head of the CIA, is appointed by the President of the United States in consultation with the Senate.


The main difference between the CIA and the FBI is that the first special service is mainly engaged in foreign intelligence. The second one solves problems mainly within the United States. But the methods and technologies of work of both special services can largely coincide.

Having determined what is the difference between the CIA and the FBI, let us record the conclusions in the table.


What do they have in common?
Both special services are established by the Federal Government, their leaders are appointed by the President of the United States in consultation with the Senate
What is the difference between them?
Engaged in foreign intelligenceSolves problems within the United States
Founded in 1947Founded in 1908