According to the legislation in force, modified by Law 4/2004, of 6 November, the mission of SIED is to produce intelligence which contributes to the safeguard of national independence, of national interests and of the external security of the Portuguese State. Additionally, under the new Internal Security Law (Law 53/2008, of 29 August) SIED sits in the High Council of Internal Security (CSSI), in the Security Co-ordination Cabinet (GCS) and in the Anti-Terrorist Co-ordination Unit (UCAT). This modification in the Law was due to SIED’s responsibility – as external security service and, as such, as a complementary instrument to internal security – to provide the necessary intelligence on external threats to internal security.
Within this framework, SIED supports the policymaking process by producing qualified intelligence, particularly in areas concerning:
   º - Terrorist threat assessment, spotting of international crime syndicates – namely those engaging in drug trafficking, facilitation of illegal immigration and nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) proliferation;
   º - permanent monitoring of the security situation of the Portuguese communities living abroad;
   º - early alert of potential threats to national interests;

   º - Portuguese external policy priority issues: political, energy, economic and defence issues.

In what concerns this last item, note that in spite of the fact that the letter (M), for Military was removed from SIED’s (SIEDM) original acronym as was defined by Law 4/2004 as set up by Law 7/200 – in particular, the sentence “intelligence activities carried out by the Armed Forces and that are necessary to its specific missions and to ensure military security -, SIED remains exclusively competent to treat and produce intelligence concerning National Defence matters.

Such goals are met through the research, assessment, interpretation and dissemination of intelligence, while strictly complying with the rights, freedoms and guarantees enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution and in the Law, and with the guidelines set out by the Prime Minister (SIED depends from the Prime Minister through the Secretary-General of SIRP).

SIED is guided by the vision of operating – together with SIS – within an integrated system – SIRP – and by the belief that it is urgent to further build an intelligence community (in a broad sense); this should be achieved by mobilizing relevant national actors within the security, defence and diplomatic framework so as to establish complementarities between institutions. According to this vision, the permanent sharing of intelligence with national security forces, in threat assessments, is a cornerstone of security, (understood as a Basic Right).

This mission is also guided by the concept that intelligence is an essential tool to every State, both to safeguard State security and interests, and the security and interests that are shared by the international community. This last premise shapes the spirit of co-operation with third-country intelligence structures – the core capabilities of which lay the grounds for a structure of knowledge and interaction that should allow for ever-changing transnational threats to be neutralized.
The future of intelligence undoubtedly lies in the ability to adjust the relevant structures to a world that, while generating opportunities, will continue to hold threats that must permanently be identified and offset or, as SIED’s motto states after Luis de Camoes, require us “To Divine and Avert Dangers”.

Finally, it is important to stress that the mission of SIED is always carried out bearing in mind the high level of responsibility that its specificity as an agency entails. Hence, SIED acts in accordance with the core value of integrity, while fully abiding by the fundamental values of the Rule of Law; excellence; and a mission-based responsibility, anchored on the belief that to exercise the powers committed to SIED is to truly and nobly render a public service.  


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