DGSI’s history

Logos des différentes directions depuis les RG
DGSI / AdobeStock

As a high terror threat loomed over the country, the need for less restrictive practices became apparent, and an overhaul of police intelligence was decided at the highest level in 2007. This led to the creation of DCRI (Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur or Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence) in 2008.

In 2014, DCRI became DGSI, the Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure (General Directorate of Internal Security). Placed under the authority of the Minister of the Interior, DGSI benefits from more autonomy, notably regarding financial and human resource management.

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The Second Active Brigade of the Judicial Police and General Intelligence (Deuxième Brigade active de police judiciaire et des renseignements généraux) was created in 1907 under the IIIrd Republic by Célestin Hennion. It was tasked with monitoring certain groups likely to harm the Republic’s institutions.

The Direction des renseignements généraux (Directorate of General Intelligence) was tasked with “searching for and centralizing the political, social and economic intelligence the Government needed to know. It was tasked with air police, checking the circulation of people at borders, and monitoring gambling establishments and racetracks” (March 1967 decree).
The Order of 16 October 1968 renamed the Service “Direction centrale des renseignements généraux” (Central Directorate of General Intelligence). It became an important part of the Direction générale de la police nationale (General Directorate of National Police), newly created by the Order of 29 September 1969.
In 2008, DCRG merged with DST to become DCRI.


The government was aware of the rising threat in Europe and decided to create the General Inspectorate of Territorial Monitoring. The need to ensure better protection against the German Services and prevent any subversive action progressively became the norm.

In November 1942, France is entirely occupied and Territorial Security was disbanded. While the lines between counter intelligence and Résistance were blurred, in France, a new counter intelligence service was created in London within the BCRA (Bureau central de renseignements et d’action or Central Bureau of Intelligence and Operations) led by General Charles de Gaulle, Colonel Passy, and Roger Wybot.


By the Order of 16 November 1944, the Direction de la surveillance du territoire (Directorate of Territorial Security) was created within the National Police with avec Roger Wybot at its head.

In the aftermath of the Liberation, it was mainly tasked with neutralizing enemies and removing any repercussions stemming from the Occupation. Once peace was reached, it dealt with investigating, preventing, and hindering acts of espionage, notably during the Cold War.

Its remit progressively widened to include terrorism, heritage looting, the French scientific and industrial landscape, and ballistic, nuclear, bacteriological and chemical proliferation.

DST merged with DCRG in 2008 and became DCRI.


DCRI (Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur or the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence) was created on 1 July 2008 after DCRG and DST merged.

Its remit is fourfold: fighting against terrorism, counter intelligence, protecting French economic interests, and detecting extremist threats.

It became DGSI in 2014.


SDIG (Sous-direction de l’information générale or Sub Directorate of General Information) was integrated to DCSP when DCRI was created.

It centralizes and analyses the intelligence to be sent to the Government and to prefects on institutional, economic, and social matters, but also on movements – whether organized or not – likely to disrupt public order.


DGSI (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure or General Directorate of Internal Security) was created by the Order of 30 April 2014 and placed under the direct supervision of the Minister of the Interior.

It combines the capacities of an intelligence service and of a specialized law enforcement service. It was appointed leader for counter terrorism matters by virtue of its mission to protect French people and interests within France. This leadership is done in close collaboration with the other Services of the intelligence community.


SCRT (Service central du renseignement territorial or Central Service for Territorial Intelligence) was created by the Order of 9 May 2014 and is part of DCSP.

Its mission is to collect and analyze intelligence regarding the movements and individuals which may jeopardize the State’s integrity. It takes part in terrorism prevention by detecting “low level” radicalization signals.