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Difference Between FBI and CIA

Primary Difference

Every country has their secret agencies which perform a variety of tasks put on them from the government or for different security reasons. It is under the federal government that is responsible for the collection, analysis and implementation of information that they secure through various sources. They take into account the national security, give security warnings and keep an eye on all the activities going on in the country. They have many people who perform several tasks without showing their identity or in some cases have to demonstrate their status. The United States has these agencies too, which are perhaps more famous than any other in the world because of their frequent use in movies and other platforms. These two are known as FBI and CIA. There are many differences between them although they may seem similar. These differences will be detailed in this article. The main difference can be shown with the name; FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation while CIA stands for Central Intelligence Agency. In broader terms, CIA is the agency which deals with the matters of security outside the United States and has no input in the main factors related to the safety of the country. The FBI is the federal agency that focuses on the internal affairs of the United States. The FBI is the older one of the two and was formed way back in 1908 for the matters related to the security of the country while CIA was established after the second world war in 1947 which focused on the external affairs ever since the cold war between Russia and America began. The main headquarter of CIA is in the state of Virginia while the central office of FBI is in Washington. The annual budget of FBI is 8.3 billion while the budget of CIA is not known. The CIA may or may not be directly answerable to the government while the FBI is directly accountable to the government. FBI has a bigger network through which they are able to maintain the security within the country and has more than 35000 employees. Similarly, CIA also has a big network all over the world but has fewer employees who are around 20000. There are many other differences between these two languages as well which will be discussed in the end, while a brief description of both the types is given in the next couple of paragraphs.

Comparison Chart

FBICIA
NameFederal Bureau of InvestigationCentral Intelligence Agency.
Beginning19081947
FocusThe primary focus of FBI is to tackle crime within the countrythe main focus of CIA is to spy in different countries around the world.
Networkhas a bigger network through which they are able to maintain the security and has more than 35000 employees.has a big network all over the world but has fewer employees who are around 20000.
Head OfficeWashingtonVirginia
Reportdirectly answerable to the governmentmay or may not be directly answerable to the government
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Definition of FBI

Federal Bureau of Investigation is what FBI is known as and it is one of the most famous agencies in the world which have made its name as a company that has been able to keep a stronghold all over the country when it comes to protecting against the crime. The FBI is the federal agency that focuses on the internal affairs of the United States. The FBI an old organization that was formed way back in 1908 for the matters related to the security of the country. It does not act as a spy agency like others, and some people may confuse both of them with each other, it only focuses on a body that can look into different criminal cases from a different point of view. The annual budget of FBI is 8.3 billion which is one of the biggest for any American agency, but the thing about it is that it is directly answerable to the government. FBI has a more major network through which they are able to maintain the security within the country and has more than 35000 employees. The motto of FBI is Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity and is more famous around the world since people get to see them mostly in the movies and other television programs.

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Definition of CIA

It is the agency which is known as Central Intelligence Agency. In broader terms, CIA is the agency which deals with the matters of security outside the United States and has no input in the main factors related to the safety of the country. It is not a crime stopping service but only deals with performing different spy activities around the world to protect American interest. They have a big network which has more than 20 thousand people working for it under different roles thought most of the stuff related to it is not known such as the total budget. CIA was formed after the second world war in 1947 which focused on the external affairs ever since the cold war between Russia and America began. The main headquarter of CIA is in the state of Virginia. The motto of CIA is Ye shall know the truth, and it shall set you free. It has people sent to various countries who act as the people of the same country and then send intelligence reports to the headquarters. It has the ability to bypass the federal government in some cases and may or may not be directly answerable to the Justice Department.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. CIA was formed in 1947 while FBI was formed way back in 1908.
  2. FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation while CIA stands for Central Intelligence Agency.
  3. The primary focus of FBI is to tackle crime within the country while the main focus of CIA is to spy in different countries around the world.
  4. The main work of CIA is that the agency which deals with the matters of security outside the United States while FBI is the federal agency that focuses on the internal affairs of the United States.
  5. The annual budget of FBI is 8.3 billion while the budget of CIA is not known.
  6. FBI has a bigger network through which they are able to maintain the security and has more than 35000 employees. Similarly, CIA also has a big network all over the world but has fewer employees who are around 20000.
  7. The main headquarter of CIA is in the state of Virginia while the central office of FBI is in Washington.
  8. The CIA may or may not be directly answerable to the government while the FBI is directly responsible to the government.
  9. The motto of CIA is Ye shall know the truth, and it shall set you free. The motto of FBI is Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity.
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Conclusion

All in all, the main points related to the differences between the two terms and the way they are similar to each other have been explained properly so that people are able to know more about them, FBI and CIA are such terms which can be confusing but hopefully after reading this article that won’t be the case.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss