The main function of EFIS – the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service – is to collect, analyse and report information on Estonia’s external security threats. The information gathered by EFIS has a significant influence on Estonia’s national defence and security policy making process. EFIS is the front line of national defence, as intelligence ensures an early warning for events that pose a threat to us.
We are responsible for the security of the state’s classified networks, and we carry out counterintelligence for the protection of Estonian diplomats and military personnel posted abroad. In addition, by performing the function of the National Security Authority, we are responsible for the protection of foreign classified information.
We work closely with both domestic and foreign partners.
Our history dates back to 1992 when the Information Agency of the Government Office of the Republic of Estonia was established. In 1994, the Information Agency was subordinated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2001, the Estonian Information Board was established, which was then subordinated to the Ministry of Defence, and was united with the signals intelligence unit of the former Government Communications Agency. As of 1 July 2017, our organisation is named the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service to more clearly communicate our main task, which is the collection of intelligence.
Our organisation is under the purview of the Ministry of Defence.
We operate under the Estonian Security Authorities Act. Supervision over EFIS is exercised by the Security Authorities Surveillance Committee of the Parliament, which assesses – among other things - the protection of fundamental rights and the efficiency of the service’s work. The Ministry of Defence, the Chancellor of Justice and the National Audit Office of Estonia also exercise supervision over EFIS.