The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States federal government, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence . As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community , the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet.
Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation , which is a domestic security service, the CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic intelligence collection. Though it is not the only U.S. government agency specializing in HUMINT, the CIA serves as the national manager for coordination of HUMINT activities across the US intelligence community. Moreover, the CIA is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action at the behest of the President. It exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.
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