Template:Infobox military unit

The Imperial Security, better known as ImpSec, is a branch of the Barrayaran Imperial Service devoted to protecting the Empire from threats within and without. Officers publicly assigned to Imperial Security wear silver departmental insignia in the shape of an Eye of Horus.
ImpSec, alongside with Military Intelligence Service and Ministry of Protection of Imperial Loyalty, is part of Barrayaran intelligence system, but differently from both colleague services is in charge of both foreign intelligence, concerned with broad issues such as economics, political assessments, military capabilities and intentions of foreign nations, and internal security. This means that ImpSec is the sole general intelligence service, responsible for performing foreign and military intelligence, alongside with some internal security duties, in support of Ministry for Protection of Imperial Loyalty, while anti-crime intelligence is performed by civilian counterparts, mainly the Ministry of Interior. However, the Ministry and the Imperial Security are into a close working relationship, ImpSec serving primarily as the information-gathering agency and the Ministry as the executive agency of the system established for the purpose of combating the political and ideological enemies. This relationship between the Ministry and ImpSec is accomplished by the systematic co-ordination work among chiefs of the individual agencies and departments, as overseen and directed by the Emperor or the Prime Minister; operationally, this consultation is carried out by the Political and Security Committee.
The Imperial Security is responsible for supplying the Emperor and His Government with internal and foreign intelligence. Alongside the Ministry of Protection of Imperial Loyalty and Military Intelligence Service, it operates under the functional direction of the sole Emperor and Prime Minister. The Imperial Security also performs functions of political police: it cooperates with the local law enforcement agencies when the repression of offences has to be considered alongside safeguarding national security.
ImpSec, since Captain Simon Illyan's long leadership, is organized with internal accountability criteria, in opposition to the internal secrecy of Captain Negri's command, which had little, secret compartments shared only with Emperor Ezar. On the other hand, the membership of the Imperial Security largely remained unchanged: most officers are assigned to ImpSec as first assignment, and likely remain there for the whole career, or move from (or to) both Service Security and Military Intelligence Service: under ordinary circumstances no ship-duty officer is assigned to ImpSec, in order to avoid officers which simply do not have the necessary experience about dealing with state security matters.
Due to the harsh methods used, ImpSec gained through the decades a very sinister fame: any average Barrayaran on the street feels at least fear and anxiety if confronted with ImpSec. In recent decades, however, alongside the secret spying and policing, ImpSec has taken on another level, more public and more "friendly": official Detachments often interact with the press and are integrated with local society in new "prevention police" and somewhat bland "political surveillance" roles. The "New ImpSec" is therefore in charge of various activities, ranging from close protection of Emperor and imperial top leaders and policy-makers to surveillance duties, being a sort of "advanced security" force and intelligence agency. However, ImpSec is still in charge of defence of the Empire from any threat which could be identified, and therefore it is capable of the harshest reactions.
It is keen to underline that ImpSec is a fully military body, and in many cases is just another assignment, slightly different from the major part of other branches, but still under the broad umbrella of the Imperial Service. The Imperial Service primary mission is to serve the Emperor, and ImpSec is a full part of that mission. Although the Imperial Security is a military corps, it is hierarchically submitted to the Chief of General Staff for disciplinary matters only. The Imperial Security is therefore among the "military forces" of the Empire but is not strictly part of the Imperial Service: as a military force, it depends on the Chief of the General Staff, but the Chief of the Imperial Security is not part of the High Command and as chief of a state security service is directly related to the Emperor and, if present, the Prime Minister. In its capacity of state security service, ImpSec reports directly to the Emperor, and co-operates with other intelligence-gathering and security military and civilian bodies. Other Imperial Service departments and branches are required to cooperate with ImpSec. The general provisions of the military regulations and laws are applicable to the members of the Imperial Security, subject to the modifications which have been established for them.
ImpSec employs many operatives who work undercover in the field. Some are military specialists, whilst others are civilian hires, including famous professors and scholars, who are recruited for their specialities and access. Local non-military operatives are graded from IS-1 to IS-9, IS-9 representing the highest level of security accessible to an operative agent.
The Preventive Internment Plan is the mass detention strategy to be enforced in case of a major war or of general security emergence: it involves widespread detentions of thousands of people and the reinforcement of the surveillance measures over other thousands of people. Every local section of ImpSec has to have dedicated lists and to perform local arrests, by groups of three men.
Often times, operatives and agents may not even know their head. When all else fails, it is upon the Agent to assume that they are being watched by a superior, and act accordingly. Most of the time, this paranoia is very justified, at least at home.
The Imperial Security was formed as early as in 2845 by Emperor Dorca under the command of his trusted adviser Pierre Le Sanguinaire Vorrutyer; at first, ImpSec operated as a bodyguard corps to protect the Imperial Person from all threats, being understated that the main threat were his relatives. This feature maintained its place through the decades and centuries. In 2846 the personal protection services were formally separated, and the Imperial Security was formally established. The first Commander of Imperial Security after the foundation years was Major Lucas Vordrozda, a close Dorca's protégé. During these years, the head-quarters were based within the Imperial Residence, with a secondary seat in a villa in down-towns, where interrogations were performed and heavy assets housed.
The personal protection role (alongside the related information-gathering duties) was maintained intact for the brief Yuri's reign. During the so-called "Reign of the Mad Emperor", ImpSec gained the responsibility for personal security of all the Imperial Family, as well as some forms of control over military and Vor families. Generally speaking, the Imperial Security was a somewhat minor security agency, corned by the powerful and influential Ministry of Political Education. During Yuri's years, Chiefs of the Imperial Security rotated frequently, and ranked Captain (Naval) or Colonel; under Yuri's reign the main see of the Imperial Security moved out of the Imperial Residence, moving to the Imperial Security Head Quarters building, a technologically advanced building designed by Lord Dono Vorrutyer, the Mad Architect, and completed in 2861.
During Ezar Vorbarra's reign, the Imperial Security gradually shifted from a personal security and Residence protection agency to a secret police force, partly capable to rival the then-Ministry of Political Education, and become to establish its own spy network abroad. The growth was reflected by the ever-rising rank of the Chief of Imperial Security; although the last Ezarian Chief was a Captain (Naval), the post formally needed a Major General or a Rear Admiral and, in the late years of Ezar's reign, a Lieutenant General. However, the real boom came for ImpSec with the disastrous Escobar Campaign and its aftermaths, when the Ministry of Political Education was ripped apart and physically destroyed. Since the beginning of the Regency of Aral Vorkosigan, the Imperial Security has been the main national security agency, its own tasks progressively encompassing all national security and foreign intelligence matters.

Recruitment Edit

The most significant portion of candidates is recruited from the Imperial Service: they come mostly from Service Security, Military Intelligence Service, as well as other key departments or as their first commission. Often, military-drawn personnel continues to specialize about military or high security matters, maintaining their "military paranoid" approach. Some are purpose-recruited from the civilian side, generally for some special expertise, like high scientific skills, social connections and other field of expertise. Civilian-recruited personnel generally does not make outstanding careers, although it is not a stated rule nor an unofficial policy. The third source of personnel is the hand-picking by field agents.
The Imperial Security is a both security and intelligence organization, in turn both internal and external and the information collection and analysis activity is one of the most important among these assigned to ImpSec: analysts contribute to form the backbone of the organization. In order to guarantee a reliable consideration in information analysis work, no one is allowed to become an analyst without field experience.
In order to avoid infiltration, the Imperial Security does not accept any self-presentation, but selects its members on its own. It also has several recruitment criteria, both political and moral. The candidate must feel a proven loyalty to the Imperial legal and moral order and show a good political consciousness, as well as feeling a heavy sense of duty, patriotism, self-discipline and honesty. To examine the candidate, ImpSec also must have a good assessment of the coming social context, i.e. good general education, professional skills, high school diploma or higher title and so on. These criteria, although obviously differently considered for military and civilian personnel, are however unbreakable.
As required for the whole Imperial Service, candidates must have perfect health conditions, and in addition good possibilities of intellectual and professional growth. A severe obstacle to the recruitment within the Imperial Security is having a relative living abroad.
Before being recruited as an operative, and even before he could be informed that he may be recruited, the candidate must perform one or more mission as informer or spy in order to test political and professional reliability. After being approved, but before being officially recruited, the candidate undergoes an individual and specific training plan which involves courses at various professional schools: ordinary, investigative and police-related and ImpSec-only schools.
This procedure ensures providing high quality officials and operatives, as well as an effective wall against infiltration.
The vast majority of ImpSec’s executive leadership is made up of senior career intelligence officers. Most of the upper administrative bureaucratic echelon consists of professionals selected from within the agency itself. Traditionally, these positions are filled by seasoned intelligence analysts who had risen through the ranks. More recently, however, there has been an explicit shift to fast-tracking recent graduates.
The average ImpSec officer is usually a good security logistics officer and has some good investigative qualities; this does not grant a successful career within the Imperial Security; when ImpSec needs gifted logistics officers, it takes them from Operations or from other commands devoted to logistics. Those who have purely logistics and organizational qualities are assigned to the provinces, never to the Imperial Capital or to central duties.

Chief of Imperial Security Edit

General Lucas Dredd

Incumbent Chief of Imperial Security, General Lucas Dredd (2999 - current).

The Chief of Imperial Security is appointed and dismissed by the Emperor, by his own decree. The Chief of Imperial Security is not a military rank, but a direct Imperial appointment: while the job has traditionally been given to serving military men, this is not a requirement; furthermore, while theoretically the Chief of Imperial Security could be an external appointee, this has never been the case insofar. The position's pay had been at the level of a Vice-Admiral/Lieutenant General until General Allegre's tenure; since Admiral Pierre Danglard the post has been held on by a fourth level general/flag officer. The post is traditionally held by a serving officer, but the Emperor can appoint whomever he chooses, regardless of military status. However, the commission has a maximum duration of fifteen years and is renewable only once; on the other hand, the Chief of Imperial Security may be dismissed at the Emperor's own pleasure. The Chief of the Imperial Security refers constantly to the Emperor on its activities or to Delegated Authority, if that is established and submits to the Joint Council an annual report on the functioning and organization of the Imperial Security.
The Chief of the Imperial Security is the supreme hierarchical authority, has direct command over all departments and units and oversees the smooth running of the service, discipline and administration of the Imperial Security. It is to note that the main role of the Chief of Imperial Security is to provide command, direction and directives and control to all other subordinate departments, in order to ensure an efficient co-operation between them; furthermore, he leads major intelligence operations and keeps inter-agency contacts, both within the Imperium and on the Nexus scene. That appointment is one of great responsibility, calling for unusual experience and a rare combination of qualities; but having got the right man there is no alternative to giving him the widest discretion in the means he uses and the direction in which he applies them.
The current Chief of Imperial Security is, since 2999, General Lucas Dredd, appointed in view of the handover between Gregor and Serg Vorbarra, in order to provide the new Emperor a high-ranking officer of the same generation and with whom he had worked in the past.
The "Alfa Magenta Team" is a special top-secret unit formed to sidetrack the investigation of the judiciary in the case of official investigations and judicial investigations. The "Alfa Magenta Team" is made up of operatives reporting directly to the Chief of Imperial Security but act mainly with agents of the Department of Domestic Affairs.

Internal Inspection Service Edit

The Internal Inspection Service is a division of the Imperial Security which investigates incidents and plausible suspicions of misconduct attributed to agents on the ImpSec. Due to the sensitive nature of this responsibility, agents and operatives working Internal Inspection Service are not framed in a Department, but report directly to the Chief of Imperial Security. Within the Service, the Internal Security Office deals with surveillance over ImpSec members.

Antiterrorism Strategic Analysis Committee Edit

The Antiterrorism Strategic Analysis Committee (ASAC) is a standing committee of police and intelligence services. It is an important tool for sharing and evaluation of information relating to terrorism. The Committee is composed of the Chief of Imperial Security, with the function of the President, and by senior officials of the Ministry of Protection of Imperial Loyalty, of the Serious Organized Crime Agency, of the Imperial Police Force, of the Komarran Security Department and of the Sergyar Police Service.
Both the head of the Military Intelligence Service and the chief of the Service Security may be invited, as well as other relevant ImpSec officers.

Organization Edit

Imperial Security has five major intelligence departments and several minor or autonomous services. Various Departments often do not interact or share information: this procedure is carried out on a case-by-case basis.

Central Command Edit

The Central Command of the Imperial Security acts as the controlling brain for the other sections, as well as handling personnel and financial matters, including the payment of agents on behalf and under the immediate direction (but not management) of the Chief of Imperial Security. The Central Command is head quartered entirely into the Imperial Security Headquarters, shared with the other major departments, and it is clearly separated by the office of the Chief of Imperial Security. The Chief of Central Command is the most senior officer in the Central Command: he is in charge of the general co-ordination of various sub-branches and of the management of general services. The current Chief is Rear Admiral Iannis Papaudopolis.

  • Phantom operatives (outside chain of command)
  • Personnel Directorate:
    • ImpSec Troops Division;
  • General Operations Planning;
  • Information acquisition;
  • Science;
  • Medical Service;
  • Operational Logistics & Support;
  • Housekeepings and Plants.
  • Computer Service (Information and Dissemination): analyses and distributes intelligence data and publishes a daily current events summaries for the Emperor.
  • Directorate for Co-ordination of the Economic Security: co-ordinates the Economic security units within the four major departments;

Division of Public Relations Edit

The Division is in charge of making available to the public any non-censored information and acts as an information desk of the Imperial Security. It also releases census data and handles advertising and propaganda campaigns, as well as all public data collection.
The Divisional Chief serves as adviser to the Chief of Imperial Security and other senior leaders on media, public relations and communication matters. He oversees the daily interaction with the media, the general public and the ImpSec’s personnel. The Division also manages ImpSec's speech writers, who help prepare speeches and testimony for the senior leaders and write other communications for employees. The Division is composed of five Offices:

  • Public Image Office: the office chief acts as a spokesman for the Imperial Security and works with the public media to ensure favourable information is being given, while still protecting classified information. The office aim is to promote accurate favourable portrayal of the ImpSec's personnel, their mission and the commitment to public service that defines them (at least in official rhetoric). The protection of national security equities is always paramount in any engagement with the media industry.
  • Public Communications Office: the public communications staff manages interaction with members of the public by responding to letters, phone calls, e-mails, and faxes from the public. An Imperial subject may contact the Public Relations by mail, phone or other open communication media during our normal business hours.
  • Internal Communications Office: the internal communications staff keeps the workforce informed about news and information affecting employee’s professional lives and working environment by publishing an employee newsletter, managing the ImpSec’s datasphere dedicated homepage, promoting ImpSec public seminars and supporting internal events.
  • Legal Office
  • Centre for the Study of Intelligence: the Centre helps to promote the public image of intelligence activities in general and of Imperial Security in particular. The make unclassified or non dangerous data available for study to scholars and students, and it produces information about history of intelligence.

General Directorate for Information acquisition Edit

The General Directorate directs overall information acquisition activities within the major departments, although analysing its significance is strict competence of single Department.

Imperial Security Administration Directorate Edit

The Administration Directorate of the Imperial Security is a specialized body reporting directly to the Chief of the Central Command and to the Chief of Imperial Security and inserted into the Central Command itself. It carries out at the intermediate level the activities of the administrative services.
In particular, the administrative organization of the Imperial Security is based on the Central Command, the Administration Directorate at the intermediate level and on peripheral organs such Units, Administrative Agencies and Detachments. The Administrative Agencies are the Departments and the Directorates, Administrative Detachments are the Offices and the Sections (and equivalent), while the Administrative Units are the remaining echelons.
The distinction between Administrative Agencies and Administrative Detachments is based on the method of financing and yields of the account: while the Administrative Agencies receive funds directly from the Administration Directorate and provide them of the accounting reports, the Administrative Detachments receive the administration of funds from Administrative Agencies and provide them their accounting reports. Administrative Units do not have budgetary autonomy and must, therefore, be authorized to perform or expenses by the Agency or Detachment it depends on.
The Administration Directorate is commanded by a Major General/Rear Admiral belonging to the Imperial Security (unlike the rest of the Imperial Service, which uses the dedicated service officers). The tasks carried out by the Directorate consist, in detail, ensuring the funding of agencies Administrative employees, performing the administrative functions assigned, exercising administrative control of against the Administrative Agencies, both by inspection, both in the accounting reporting, providing legal and administrative advice the Chief of the Imperial Security in relation to the decentralized administration, handling coordination with the various departments of the Central Command in its areas of competence and performing a supervision of the Agencies management.
The Directorate consists of:

  • Secretary;
  • Inspection Unit;
  • 1st Division: General Affairs;
    • 1st Legal Administration Office;
    • 2nd Contracts Office;
    • 3rd Materials and Vehicles Codification Office;
  • 2nd Division: Accounting and financial reports;
    • 4th Special Accounting Office;
    • 5th Accounting Reports Revisions Office - Money Management;
    • 6th Accounting Reports Revisions Office - Materials Management;
  • 3rd Division: Economic Treatment;
    • 7th Economic Treatment Office;
    • 8th Pension benefits Office;
    • 9th Fair Compensation Office.

Domestic Affairs Edit

The Domestic Affairs Department is concerned with the security of the Emperor and the Vor home world. It monitors visitors and immigrants who were either Galactics or from Komarr. The bulk of Domestic Affairs’s work is collecting covert information, which is then used to generate domestic threat assessments that are produced primarily for the wider Barrayaran intelligence community, government departments and ministries, and assist in counter-subversion planning and inform associated physical protection and target-hardening programs. The Department derives much of this information from human sources. A major amount of data emanates from well-placed informants and suspect individuals who confess during interviews and interrogations, but also from community-based information, most of which is obtained from regular interviews with local leaders and representatives. The latter source may be exploited without its consensus.
The Domestic Affairs department operates several Barrayaran (at least one for district) local offices. It is located in Imperial Security Headquarters in Vorbarr Sultana. Because its peculiar administrative structure, Northern Continent of Barrayar has a special territorial directorate, centralized in Vorbarr Sultana, while the Southern Continent has District ImpSec resident agencies. Obviously, covert agents may be deployed within Vor upper echelon as well anywhere else.
Departmental activities are managed by the Department's Chief, who reports directly to the Chief of Imperial Security and through him to the Emperor and the Prime Minister. The Chief oversees branch heads and operationally focused meetings, each of which occurs at least once a week; he also deals with the daily ordinary business. The Chief of Domestic Affairs decides on resource issues, and has the ultimate responsibility to assess whether a particular issue should be considered relevant. The current Chief of Domestic Affairs is Lieutenant General Ezar Vorparadjis.
Each three months, all Directorate heads are required to submit a performance review to the Chief of Department, who, in conjunction with a parallel semi-annual assessment of intelligence priorities, forms the basis of the annual report to the Emperor.
Every Directorate has an intelligence collection service, as well as an analysis centre, although they depend on both information acquisition department and Domestic Affairs Department.

  • The First Directorate
    • Emperor's Security and Safety Group
    • Government Leaders Protection Group
  • The Second Directorate is responsible for providing security to High Vors who do not belong to the government or military elite, but who are still sensitive targets. People protected by personnel of the Second Chief Directorate are "second-line" Counts, as well as other High Vors and their families. Alongside the protection provided, the Imperial Security carries also out a discrete surveillance on these sensitive people. It is to note that, due to the similar nature, services of both First and Second Directorates are prepared and dealt with using the same operational templates, although the attention is obviously different. The standard "sensitive High Vor" does the special ImpSec defence course each year and, on some occasions, has an outer perimeter guard watching everything he does. Due to the harsh nature of political fight in Barrayar and abroad, he lives with the need to be careful and alert. The providing of an outer perimeter guard depends on political and security circumstances, as well as temporary military or political assignments.
  • The Third Directorate deals with ethnic and minorities problems. The Third Chief Directorate is responsible for cooperating with other agencies (MoPIL and Ministry of Interior) in monitoring ethnic issues, suppressing separatist unrest, and preventing violent conflict or terrorism.
    • Anti Illegal Emigration Division
  • Directorate for Military Loyalty and Military Counter-espionage: the Counter-espionage Directorate protects the Empire against foreign intelligence operations and espionage and prevents foreign intelligence from successfully gathering and collecting intelligence. It is closely linked with the Military Intelligence Service.
    • Deserters Chase Office
    • Counter-Espionage Centres (CECs): distinct from the Field offices.
  • Directorate for Terrorism and Political Subversion Control
    • Division for Crime and Narcotics: researches information on narcotics trafficking and organized crime. Since ImpSec has no domestic ordinary police authority, it sends its analytic information to the Ministry of Interior.
  • Directorate for Protection of Strategic Facilities: is a counter-espionage organization tasked to protect Barrayaran strategic nuclear facilities from threats, including sabotage and cyber warfare.
  • Directorate for Economic Counter-sabotage
    • Arms Industry Division
  • Directorate for Culture and Press Surveillance
    • Sects and Cults Division: it keeps an eye on imported or foreign religious movements. These are dealt with by a mere Division because traditionally-intended religion on Barrayar is nearly non-existent.
  • Directorate for Territorial Surveillance: it supervises and co-ordinates the field offices on Barrayar.
  • Directorate for Analysis
    • Information acquisition and validation Division
    • Information analysis Division

Emperor's security Directorate Edit

The First Directorate of ImpSec is the organization responsible for providing bodyguard services to the Emperor, the Imperial Family and the principal government leaders and families and major government facilities (including Imperial Residence). Officers of "the First" who, by nature of their duty, remained constantly in direct proximity to the political and state elite, are the repositories of such secrets that, should they decide to use them, the consequences for the regime might have been dire. The Directorate has roughly 50,000 - 60,000 uniformed personnel plus several thousand plain-clothed personnel and controls the "black box" that can be used in the event of global nuclear war or planetary invasion. The Directorate is accused to profit from approving licenses to supply food, drink and fitments for the Imperial Residence. It has an unofficial and case-to-case role of a fact-checker against manipulation attempts from other departments. However, that role is not a priority one, neither it is often requested.
The most elite operatives are grouped within the "Emperor's Security and Safety Group", tasked with Emperor and Imperial Family's protection. The ESSG has around 3,000 non-uniformed personnel. All servants within the Imperial Residence are ImpSec trained guards, in order to quickly provide a reliable-and-ready response in case of troubles. They are a distinct department from the Imperial Guards, although they co-operate very strictly with them. The Emperor's Security and Safety Groups is on the front line of the conflict between the Emperor's protection and the obedience to his orders: this conflict is resolved by the basic values of the Barrayaran concept of "service". Besides feeling a duty to keep the Emperor alive, the whole military feels a deep desire to do the Emperor's will as a matter of both honour and duty. Doing something that goes against that, even if for his own safety, would go against the basic pillars of being Barrayaran and subject to the military status. So the ESSG would never do something with or two him without his knowledge, consent, and command. However, this does not prevent Group leaders to argue and dissent about the safety degree deemed appropriate. The ESSG is head-quartered in the Imperial Residence.
The Prime Minister of the Empire is protected by the Government Leaders Protection Group, which operates the PM Counter-attack Unit (CAU).

Directorate for Terrorism and Political Subversion Control Edit

The Directorate for Terrorism and Political Subversion Control is a subdivision of the Domestic Affairs Department of the Imperial Security. The "Terror Directorate" investigates terrorist threats inside the Empire of Barrayar and, more specifically, on Barrayar, and provides information on terrorists outside the Empire to Galactic Affairs. The Directorate’s approach to terrorism relies on informants where possible, intensive interrogations of suspects and “kinetic responses” — shooting people — when attacks happen.
The Directorate employs counter-terrorism field operations organized into squads, the number of which varies according to the amount and diversity of activity in the local field office's jurisdiction. The Terror Directorate has five Divisions:

  • Interstellar Terror Division: it has a constant link with the Galactic Affairs Department;
  • Domestic Terror Division: it is by far the largest Division within the Directorate. It is subdivided in an Office for every terror group. It is constantly linked with the Komarran Affairs Department;
  • Political Counter-espionage Division: it deals with non-military spionage attempts, and operates in order to influence foreign opinion-makers:
  • Analysis Division: provides information elaborations and reports, as well as technical support to investigations. It has six functional Offices:
    • Communications Exploitation Office
    • Terrorist Financing Operations Office - financial components of terrorism investigations
    • Counter-terrorism Analysis Office - supports Interstellar and Division
    • Terrorism Reports and Requirements Office
    • Strategic Assessment and Analysis Office
    • Production and Publications Office
  • Operational Support Division: manages the Directorate's administrative and resource functions.

Field offices on Barrayar Edit

The Domestic Affairs Department operates 78 Territorial Commands in major cities throughout Barrayar. Many of these offices are further subdivided into smaller Detachments which have jurisdiction over a specific area. These Detachments are considered to be part of the primary Territorial Commands. ImpSec Headquarters controls the flow of the agents and support staff that work out of the Territorial Commands across the planet. Due to the differences between Northern and Southern Continent, the organization is very different.
In the Southern Continent, there are eight Commands Groups, headed by Colonels, each responsible for eight Imperial Districts; in turn, in each of the 64 Districts, a Territorial Command, headed by Majors, also exists: where there is a Commands Group see, the latter exercises functions of the Territorial Command. There are also several Detachments, led by Captains, where they are needed.
Due to the hereditary matters existing in the Northern Continent, there are only 14 Territorial Commands, located in the major cities. Each Territorial Command is overseen by a Major, except those located in Vorbarr Sultana, Vorbarra District, Hassadar, Vorkosigan District, and Weienovya, Vordarian District, which due to their large size are considered being Commands Group and are managed by a Colonel, assisted by Majors responsible for specific programs.
Each Territorial Command or Command Group is subdivided into five branches: territorial Detachments (at least one), the Judicial services Unit (or Section), the official Investigative Unit (or Section), the secretive Informers Unit/Section and the Preventive Detention Unit/Section. Below these four sections, and within all of them, each Directorate has a corresponding Unit or Nucleus. If the Directorate is particularly unimportant within the Command boundary, it has only a dedicated officer. The Imperial Security also maintains Special Intervention Squads at each of its 78 Territorial Commands, consisting of 45 members each. They can also be used to aid the local authorities upon request of the relevant District Count or District Governor.
To fulfil its remit on Barrayar, the Department of Domestic Affairs of the Imperial Security also functions at the regional and local levels. Consequently, it works closely also with individual District Directorates of the Special Corps of Gendarmes. The primary function of the Special Corps Directorate is to carry out covert intelligence work in relation to national security. Therefore, the Directorate assists the relevant Field Office in carrying out its duties.
At each MoPIL Region on Barrayar, the Special Corps has established a Anti-Terrorism Information Units (ATIU), which works closely with the Imperial Security Commands Groups. The Special Corps of Gendarmes gathers intelligence relevant to both the Imperial Security and its own Ministry at two levels: in Districts and at the regional level. It is thus in this area that the Imperial Security, through its Commands Group, interacts with the District Directorates of the Special Corps of Gendarmes to conduct intelligence-gathering and intelligence development operations.
In the Northern Continent, cooperation is carried out with the proper District forces.

Komarran Affairs Edit

The Department is responsible for tracking treason plots and anti-government activity on Komarr, and in general for guarding the Barrayaran Imperium from Komarran threats. The Department is responsible for both the traditional secret service duties and for overt political police with minor tasks of public security and judicial police, being the counterpart on Komarran soil of the Special Corps of Gendarmes and of MoPIL; it also runs the local Imperial Security Headquarters on Komarr, although the Head of Komarran Affairs and numerous Komarran Affairs analysts work at Imperial Security Headquarters in Vorbarr Sultana on Barrayar. The Head of Komarran Affairs and his subordinate, the Chief of Imperial Security - Komarr are both general staff officers. The current Chief of Komarran Affairs is Vice Admiral Konstantine Keseji. The K.A.D is run out of Imperial Security Headquarters.
Every Directorate has an intelligence collection service, as well as an analysis centre, although they depend on both information acquisition department and Komarran Affairs Department.

  • Directorate for Terrorism and Political Extremism Control - closely linked with its counterpart within the Domestic Affairs Department;
  • Directorate Economic Counter-sabotage (DEX)
  • Directorate of Information Analysis
  • ImpSec Komarr: is the ImpSec detachment in charge of all activities run out on Komarr, with the exception of Galactic Affairs and Communications. ImpSec Komarr directs all its sub-detachments.
    • ImpSec Komarr Headquarters: tasked to run the ImpSec HQ in Solstice, Komarr. The same building hosts security cell blocks, ImpSec Komarr and the Galactic Actions Directorate of the Galactic Affairs Department.
      • ImpSec Komarr Troop Detachment
      • ImpSec Domed Cities Division: carries out function of public security/judicial overt political police, as well as the ordinary secret police/state security duties.
      • ImpSec Komarr Imperial Representatives Security Details: Security Details are the the ImpSec guard squads assigned to surveillance and protection of local Imperial Representatives.

ImpSec Domed Cities Division Edit

On Komarr, ImpSec relies on a dome-based field organization both for overt political police and for secret police duties: this network is organized under a separate entity, in order to assign political police prerogatives to the territorial organs. The basic units are the Dome Detachments: they consist of a force corresponding to the individual Dome importance and are usually commanded by Ground Captain/Lieutenant Commander. Detachments perform overt political police functions and civil service control, working alongside the local security for affairs that are not "classified". First information collection and validation activity is performed by single Dome Detachments.
Major Domes are garrisoned by a Territorial Command, headed by a Major or even, for Solstice, by a Commands Group, headed by a Colonel. Each sectoral organization consists of a Commands Group, in charge or carrying out administrative and paper work; the Solstice Sector Commands Group is not responsible for Solstice City.

Sergyaran Affairs Edit

The "Colonial Office", as it is known, the newest of the major departments and was created at the specific request of Viceroy Count Aral Vorkosigan, is run out of Imperial Security Headquarters and concerned with the security of the planet Sergyar. The Department is responsible for tracking anti-government activity on Sergyar, and in general for guarding the Barrayaran Imperium from Sergyaran threats. It runs the local Imperial Security Headquarters on Sergyar, although the Head of Sergyaran Affairs works at Imperial Security Headquarters in Vorbarr Sultana on Barrayar. The Head of Sergyaran is a general staff officer, although lower in rank than the Chiefs of Internal, Komarran or Galactic Affairs. The current Chief of Sergyaran Affairs is Major General David Cameron.
Every Department has an intelligence collection service, as well as an analysis centre, although they depend on both information acquisition department and Sergyaran Affairs Department. Major challenges to the department could be gathered in two main groups: on the one hand, Sergyar is the destination of a better part of immigrants in Barrayaran Imperium and therefore there are more political stability problems here than in other parts; on the other hand, Sergyaran Nexus proximity planets like Escobar and Beta Colony - Escobar is nearer to Sergyar than Komarr - requires a greater effort against spread of democratic ideals: the Imperium wants colons and fresh energies, not troubles. Therefore the Sergyaran Affairs Department has its own internal structure:

  • Colons Directorate: it deals with liaison with both Ministry of Protection of Imperial Loyalty and Sergyar Immigration Service in order to crack down any imported-subversive plot;
    • Division for Territorial Surveillance
    • Economic Security Division
  • Directorate for Political Subversion Control
  • Viceroy's Safety and Security Office
  • Information Analysis Centre

Galactic Affairs Edit

The Galactic Affairs Department provides the Barrayaran Imperium in interstellar espionage, by conducting intelligence, implementing active measures to ensure Imperial security, conducting strategic, economic, scientific and technological espionage, protecting Barrayaran employees of Barrayaran institutions abroad and their families, conducting joint operations with foreign security services.
The current Chief of Galactic Affairs is Vice Admiral Ivan Zamori. The Department is head-quartered on Komarr, in Solstice. Every Department has an intelligence collection service, as well as an analysis centre, although they depend on both information acquisition department and Galactic Affairs Department.
Some Galactic Affairs operatives work within mercenary groups across the Nexus.

  • The Galactic Actions Directorate is the organization responsible for foreign intelligence collection activities by the training and management of the covert agents, intelligence collection management, and the collection of political, scientific and technical intelligence.c It works in cooperation with the Military Intelligence Service. The Galactic Actions Directorate is placed in Solstice, Komarr, and is hosted by ImpSec Komarr HQs. The Galactic Actions Directorate includes the following Divisions:
    • Political Intelligence Division: Includes seventeen Offices, each responsible for different countries of the Nexus, as well as for interplanetary affairs. Each geographic subdivision is headed by an analyst ranking Captain (naval)/Colonel or Commodore/Brigadier General, according to the importance of the department held. The Division produces all-source intelligence investigation on key Nexus-related issues.
    • Illegal Intelligence Division: Includes thirteen Offices responsible for preparing and planting "illegal agents" abroad, conducting terror operations and sabotage in foreign countries, "biological espionage", recruitment of foreign citizens on the Barrayaran territory and other duties. The Division, overseen by its Head of Department, is also the broad co-ordinator of foreign human intelligence activities among the other two elements of the Barrayaran intelligence network with their own HUMINT operations.
    • Scientific and Technical Intelligence Division
    • External Counter-Intelligence Division: This Division carries out infiltration of foreign intelligence and security services and exercises surveillance over Barrayaran citizens abroad.
    • Operational and Technical Support
    • Economic Intelligence
    • Influence Activity Division
  • Information Analysis Directorate
    • Interstellar Issues Division: applies functional expertise to assess existing and emerging threats to Empire security and provides the Emperor, the Government, the High Command and the Council of Counts with analysis, warning, and crisis support.
    • Galactic Terrorism Analysis Division
      • Strategic Assessments Office
  • Internal Resources Directorate: the Directorate is the domestic part of the Department, its main function being to conduct voluntary debriefings of Barrayaran subjects who travel abroad for work or to visit relatives, and to recruit foreign students, diplomats and businesspeople to become ImpSec assets when they return to their homeworld. The Directorate consists of two Divisions:
    • Foreign Resources Division: it is given the responsibility for clandestine operational activities conducted within the Empire against foreign targets. Its "public relations" function is to locate foreign nationals of special interest who resided or still reside in the Barrayaran Empire and recruit them to serve as ImpSec assets when they return home or to some other foreign location.
    • National Resources Collection Division: it collects intelligence from subjects of the Empire who had travelled abroad, particularly scientists, technologists, economists, and energy experts returning from foreign locations.
  • Imperial Couriers Directorate

Head of the Department Edit

The Chief of Galactic Affairs Department is a Vice-Admiral/Lieutenant General: he reports directly to the Chief of Imperial Security; in practice, he deals with the Chief of the Imperial Security, the Chief of General Staff and occasionally with the Emperor. The Head of Department and his staff office also facilitate the support of the other branches of the Imperial Service, by providing it with information it gathers, receiving information from the Military Intelligence Service, and cooperating on field activities. The Director for Military Support, a senior military officer coming from the combat arms, manages the relationship between ImpSec and the Regional Commands.

External Counter-Intelligence Division Edit

The External Counter-Intelligence Division, within the Galactic Actions Directorate, is responsible for countering efforts by foreign intelligence services to recruit personnel of the Imperial Security and among cadres of Barrayaran institutions abroad. It also counters surveillance, wire-tapping and infiltration by foreign intelligence services against Barrayaran embassies and consulates.
The External Counter-Intelligence Division includes an Abroad Emigration Office which specializes in "anti-defection" work among Barrayaran subjects (particularly students) abroad, which includes both preventing their recruitment by foreign intelligence services as well as their participation in pro-democracy organizations.

Information Analysis Directorate Edit

The Information Analysis Directorate is the analytical branch of the Galactic Affairs Department, responsible for the production and dissemination of all-source intelligence secondary analysis on key foreign issues. Its current structure has four broad regional analytic Divisions, six Divisions for transnational issues, and two support units. In particular, the Division of Transnational Issues applies unique functional expertise to assess existing and emerging threats to Barrayaran security and provides the Emperor and the Prime Minister with analysis, warning, and crisis support.

Diplomatic Residency Edit

In the Barrayaran Imperial Embassies abroad, the Resident is an ImpSec agent who operates in a foreign country under diplomatic cover. He is an official member of the diplomatic staff, such as a commercial, cultural or military attaché. Thus he has diplomatic immunity from prosecution and cannot be arrested by the host country if suspected of espionage. The most the host country can do is send him back to Barrayar by declaring him "Persona Non Grata". The Resident is in charge of the Residency and the personnel; he is also an unofficial contact who well-known people in government for contact that is use in times of crisis. Each Residency is divided into Sections, each Section being responsible for its assigned task of gathering intelligence, and one of the sections is responsible for counter-intelligence. Each Residency, no matter its size, is divided in two parts under the Resident:

  • Operational staff
    • Intelligence Section - collects information about political, economic, and military strategic intelligence, and is also the basis for active measures actions;
    • Counter-intelligence Section - Counter-intelligence and Security
  • Special Reservists

Counter-intelligence section plays a big role in the Residency, being responsible for counter-intelligence and security of residency consulate and the embassy that housed the residency. Residencies (and through Residencies the whole Embassy) often tries to keep track of several hundred people on each planet, as well as to keep track on what the foreign embassies are doing.

Signals and Communications Security Edit

The Signals and Communications Security Department of the Imperial Security is the cryptologic intelligence branch of ImpSec, responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting Barrayaran government communications and information systems,which involves information security and cryptanalysis/cryptography. SCS' mission is to collect information that constitutes foreign intelligence or counter-intelligence and acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of Barrayaran persons. In 2998 the SCS became the main agency to monitor and protect all of the Imperial Government's networks from cyber-terrorism.
SCS' tasks include surveillance over radio broadcasting, both from various organizations and individuals, the net webs, planetary calls, and other forms of communication. Its secure communications mission includes military, diplomatic, and all other sensitive, confidential or secret government communications. Because of its listening task, the SCS is heavily involved in cryptanalytic researches. For organizational purposes, operational facilities are divided into the three its own planetary divisions (SCS Barrayar, SCS Komarr and SCS Sergyar), but they operate independently from Domestic, Galactic, Komarran and Sergyar affairs, although procedures of direct co-operation obviously exist. SCS' eavesdropping mission includes radio broadcasting, both from various organizations and individuals, the Internet, telephone calls, and all other intercepted forms of communication. Its secure communications mission includes military, diplomatic, and all other sensitive, confidential or secret government communications.

Organization Edit

The SCS has a dozen Directorates. The directorates are divided in Divisions and Offices. The main elements of the organizational structure of the SCS are:

  • Information Assurance Directorate, which ensures the availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation of national security and telecommunications and information systems.
  • Communications Security Directorate
  • Counter-intelligence Directorate
    • Cryptography Division
    • Decipherments Division
  • ImpSec Signal troops
  • Intelligence Directorate, which is responsible for the collection, analysis, production and dissemination of signals intelligence. The ID is the most important branch of the SCS. The Directorate consists of the following Divisions:
  • Customer Relations Division;
  • Analysis Division, which groups 17 geographical Analysis Offices, modelled on those within the Galactic Affairs Directorate, as well as five thematic Offices (Interplanetary security, Interplanetary crime, Counter-terrorism, Weapons, Current threats) and the Advanced Analysis Office;
  • Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Division, which is the parent branch of the Spy Spaceship Office;
  • Hacking Division, which hacks into foreign computers to conduct cyber-espionage. This Division is the hearth of the largest and arguably the most important component of the Intelligence Directorate, consisting of elite technical personnel;
  • Special Collection Division, which is a joint program created by Galactic Affairs and SCS to facilitate clandestine activities such as bugging computers throughout the world, using the expertise of both branches.
  • Internal Defence Division, which is responsible for domestic (of all three planets) collection programs.
  • R&D Directorate
  • Directorate of Government Communications
  • Directorate of information technology
  • Academy of Cryptography
  • Military School of communications in Bosanklar
  • Admiral Uzinov Scientific Research Electromechanics Institute, manufacturer of software and hardware used by the SCS
  • Cryptologic Intelligence Office

Other departments Edit

Other departments in Imperial Security include:

  • Finance
  • Forensics
  • ImpSec Medical Service
  • Administration
  • Food Service
  • Housekeeping and Physical Plant
  • Imperial Security Headquarters Buildings Command
  • Imperial Security Training: the Department is in charge of training of all ImpSec specialists and it is organized into several sub-departments.

As well as having a presence in all Barrayaran embassies, Imperial Security runs several ImpSec Headquarters, which are commanded by general or flag officers, usually Commodores, corresponding to the Imperial Sectors.

ImpSec Troops Edit


The Imperial Security Troops insignia.

The ImpSec Security Troops are the uniformed security troops of the Imperial Security which engage in military-related activities that are ImpSec's competence. ImpSec controls units that guard the highest officials and, if necessary, their private buildings. Another ImpSec armed force guards sensitive military, scientific, and industrial installations on Barrayar. They also guard government installations (nuclear weapons, etc.), operate the Vorbarr Sultana VIP subway, and secure high ranking leaders communication system. The ImpSec Troops provide ImpSec with a coercive potential: one of their main tasks is to guard the top leadership, as well as key government buildings and officials.
The Imperial Security Troops also include the dedicated General Command, several units of signal troops, which are responsible for installation, maintenance, and operation of strategic communications facilities for leading government bodies, and space forces, although ImpSec deploys only small spacecrafts and fast couriers.
Administrative departments of the Central Command perform other functions in connection with the ImpSec Troops and the ImpSec Troops General Command - ImpSec Troops Division is contained within the Personnel Directorate: it handles tasks of military leadership, training and organization of the field units, supply of the troops with arms, equipment and ammunition, procurement of combat vehicles, personnel and disciplinary affairs, in conjunction with the Operational Logistics and Support, while the Legal Office controls the administration of courts-martial and discipline also for the Troops.

ImpSec Special forces Edit

The ImpSec special forces (ISSF) are not a single structure, although there is a single training centre and they operate in a similar way: each branch is formed within the various directorates as needed. Their deployment must be authorized by the head of the major department responsible for the area of operations.

  • Special Group A (Domestic Affairs Department, First Directorate): The Alpha Group is an elite dedicated counter-terrorism unit that belongs to the special-purpose forces of ImpSec. The main objective of this special unit is the power operations to prevent acts of terrorism, hostage rescue, etc. In addition, the men of Alpha are attracted to other operations of the ImpSec special and high complexity. Alpha Group's primary function is believed to be to carry out urban counter-terrorist missions under the direct sanction and control of the political leadership.
  • Special Group B (Galactic Affairs Department, Galactic Actions Directorate): A dedicated special unit specialised in deep penetration, sabotage, universal direct and covert action, protection of Barrayaran most sensitive embassies and espionage cell activation in case of war. Most of the operatives mastered two or three foreign languages, for they were intended to act in foreign countries, deep behind enemy lines. Its duties are quite different from those of the Special Group S.
  • Special Group S (Galactic Affairs Department, Galactic Actions Directorate): assigned to execute very special operations abroad primarily for protection of embassy personnel, high-sensitive internal investigations and ultra-secret direct actions. The group is deep undercover and consists of approximately 500 highly experienced operatives speaking several languages and having extensive record of operations while serving in other secret units of the military. The group receives signals, electronic warfare and logistics support from appropriate ImpSec units. The Group often operates in plain clothes and with the full range of support, such as false identities, at its disposal.

ImpSec Embassy Guard Edit

The ImpSec Embassy Guard (ISEG) is an ImpSec Troops Command section, whose detachments provide security at Barrayaran Embassies and Consulates, and other official offices abroad.
The primary mission of the ISEG is to provide security, particularly the protection of classified information and equipment vital to the national security of the Barrayaran Imperium at Barrayaran diplomatic posts. This is accomplished under the guidance and operational control of the local military attaché. In addition, ISEG provides security for visiting Barrayaran dignitaries and frequently assist the military attaché in supervising host country and/or locally employed security forces which provide additional security for the exterior of embassies. The ISEG troops fall under operational control of the military attaché and are administratively controlled by the Imperial Security Embassy Guard. The secondary mission of ISEG troops is to provide protection for Barrayaran citizens and Government properties located within designated premises during exigent circumstances, which require immediate aid or action.
The ISEG focuses on the interior security of a diplomatic post's buildings. In only the most extreme emergency situations are they authorized duties exterior to the buildings or to provide special protection to the senior diplomatic officer off of the diplomatic compound. ISEG Troops carry a certain level of diplomatic immunity in the performance of their official duties.

Imperial Guards Edit

The Imperial Guard Regiment is a unique military regiment, a part of Imperial Security with the status of a special unit. The Imperial Guard Regiment exists in order to provide physical security to the Emperor and to members of the Imperial family, to provide "area" security for Imperial residences, and to provide the in-house security functions.
The Imperial Guard Regiment actually consists of four battalions: one battalion for each of the Barrayaran ethnic groups, plus the School Battalion. The School Battalion's functions are to provide for the Imperial Guard Regiment's own training requirements, and also to provide elite "op forces" for the rest of the Imperial Service training commands. Membership in the Imperial Guard Regiment is available only to ImpSec troops who have thoroughly proved themselves before recruitment. The Imperial Guard Regiment contains its own atmospheric component. Most of its personnel are normally configured as light infantry, but each battalion has its own integral heavy weapons company, and powered armour is available to it.
The regiment is directly under the command of the Emperor and ensures the security of the Imperial Residence and its treasures and guards the Emperor and the highest state officials. The regiment is housed in the historic Imperial Barracks and it is operationally framed within the First Chief Directorate of the Domestic Affairs Department, strictly linked with the Emperor's Security and Safety Group. The following units are component units of the Imperial Guards:

  • Band of the Imperial Regiment
  • Two infantry battalions
  • Historical Infantry Company
  • Imperial Regiment Cavalry Escort Squadron Group

Imperial Guards have to be at least 190 cm tall, able to hear a whisper at 600 cm and never been treated for a sexually-transmitted disease.
The Cavalry Squadron Group consists of four Cuirassiers Squadrons, each formed up by Imperial Guardsmen coming from the same language area: Eskadril'i Kirasiry, Escadron des Cuirassiers, Cuirassiers Squadron and Moíra Tho̱rakofóro̱n.

Emperor's Own Space Squadron Edit

Apart of the Imperial Guard Regiment there is the Emperor's Own Space Squadron, consisting of the state vessels personally used by the Emperor. The Squadron does not belong neither to the Space Forces Command, neither to the operational ImpSec's space vessels.

  • "HMS-IS Gregorian" Vorbarr Sultana-class battlecruiser
  • "HMS-IS Kareen" Dendarii-class cruiser
  • "HMS-IS Kestrel II" Dendarii-class cruiser
  • "Auxiliary Vessels Group"

Defence Troops Edit

The ImpSec Defence Troops and the Command Watch Company are the units tasked with the protection of the three headquarters buildings of the Imperial Security and of the highest officials, while other types of ImpSec Troops protect secondary posts or have a more active role. The Command Watch Company has an original strength of 120 men. The ImpSec Defence Troops are a standing armed unit exclusively at Emperor's disposal, which may be delegated, by law, only to the Chief of the Imperial Security for fixed periods of time or for specific emergencies. As such, members are to selected according to the philosophical and political absolute reliability standards.

Imperial couriers Edit

One of the most routine yet vital public roles of Imperial Security is that of their Imperial couriers, who shuttle sensitive documents between embassies. Imperial Couriers are the Barrayaran diplomatic couriers: they are the officials who transport diplomatic bags and documents. Couriers are granted diplomatic immunity and are thereby protected by the receiving state from arrest and detention when performing their work. Imperial couriers generally travel in plain clothes in business class on scheduled spacelines, carrying an official case from which they must not be separated - it may even be chained to their wrist. Couriers are also a convenient cover for more deep cover operatives. Beyond their diplomatic mission, they carry on message sending also between different ImpSec posts. Couriers - both Imperial Couriers and regular forces ones - get issued a secure valise, which they have the duty to do never let left away. The Imperial Couriers' vulnerability makes necessary a frequent review of all the couriers, their records and routes.
All the Imperial Service and Imperial Security couriers report to off-world Sector Headquarters, and from there up to a Commodore for Communications station-keeping on Komarr.

Operatives and techniques Edit

Imperial Security employs many operatives who work undercover in the field. Some are military specialists, whilst others are civilian hires who are recruited for their specialities and access. Local non-military operatives are graded from IS-1 to IS-9, IS-9 representing the highest level of security.

Powers Edit

In order to carry out its missions, the Imperial Security has several powers, both overt and covert. At the base of the vast powers, legal and illegal, attributed to the Imperial Security there is the idea that sees the protection of the supreme good of the Empire being sometimes incompatible with the legal protections of the rule of law. When the supreme interest of the Empire is at stake, for the Empire everything is permitted. Because of specific requirements preventively defined, there may be some real suspension of the right and some behaviours, in itself criminal, may be considered appropriate within particular contexts, due to the defence of the Fatherland.
The Imperial Security can perform arrests ordered by a court, as well as making arrests official on its own behalf. It can also perform searches, seizures, detentions, interrogations and arrests measures. If the Imperial Security makes an arrest or a search on behalf of a Court - very rare but possible eventuality - ordinary police procedures are followed; conversely, no constraint is placed on security procedures. Often, during security investigations, if an arrest takes place, it involves also relatives of the suspect or of the fugitive.
In addition to the official acts, which provide not guarantees or individual, Imperial Security may adopt any measure that is deemed appropriate to ensure the fulfilment of the missions. If deemed necessary, Imperial Security could engage in targeted killing, and hunt down and kill enemies of the Empire abroad.
Imperial Security has the power to arrest or secretly abduct a person and imprison him or her. The person is placed outside the law but Imperial orders: the person imprisoned is extra-legally detained and, if deemed necessary, tortured during interrogation. The possible murder is surreptitious, with the corpse disposed of to escape discovery, so that the person apparently vanishes. The terror situation which is created, also helps to intimidate local populations, in case of active resistance.
In order to ensure an efficient prevention web, Imperial Security officers have the power to issue official warnings to citizens on actions that could lead to committing crimes and arrest people for 15 days if they fail to comply with legitimate orders given by the officers after an official warning.

Investigative methods Edit

Imperial Security officers have a variety of investigating methods, mainly employed when dealing with matters and people affecting Imperial space.
The most open investigation is the "audit": such an investigation is conducted openly, so that the target and everyone around him know the investigation is being conducted. This method is employed on occasion of official requests made by ruling Counts, or during a military investigation entrusted to Imperial Security by a military court. This form of investigation is practised almost only within the Imperial borders, and however in at least apparently peaceful contexts, because it requires an official acknowledgement of agents' authority: therefore this method is somewhat residual.
The most common operational ways is conducting an investigation by asking the target's help in rooting out other traitors in the hopes they would give away incriminating evidence in their eagerness to point the finger at others, as well as grabbing someone whom ImpSec has no evidence of foul play of, and then observing the behaviour of the suspect associates to see if any of these react in suspicious ways.
Openly harassing a suspect in the hopes he would do something criminal is a technique which may be used abroad as well within the Empire: in the former case it is used when ImpSec cooperates with another intelligence or law enforcement agency, while the latter case is useful when the target enjoys of a good popularity within its environment.
The practice of allowing a suspect with only minor wrongdoing to proceed unhindered so agents would catch the suspect and any associates in a larger crime, and the covert staging events so a "cultivated" suspect would have a greater opportunity to commit a larger crime is employed among counter-espionage duties. Setting a suspect up in a no-win situation in which he must commit a crime is a similar method. The Imperial Security agent would then promise to forgive the crime if the suspect does a few favours; favours which cause the suspect to commit some other crime. This ensures that the subject would be permanently indebted to the Imperial Security.

Interrogations Edit

The Imperial Security usually conducts most of its interrogations without excessive physical pressures: the favoured ordinary interrogation method is by far the fast-penta, which does not harm physically the interrogated person. However, not always this method is available, because the subject could be vaccinated against the fast-penta interrogation, or even subject to an allergic reaction.
On the other hand, Special Interrogations conducted by the Imperial Security are notorious for being ruthlessly violent and harsh. Among the practices authorised are keeping prisoners in excruciatingly uncomfortable postures, covering their heads with filthy and malodorous sacks and depriving them of sleep: torture techniques are far from being unheard of, and ImpSec routinely goes beyond the "moderate physical pressure" formally authorised. Torture practised include forceful and repeated shaking of the suspect's upper torso, in a manner which causes the neck and head to swing rapidly, manacling of the suspect in a painful position for a long period of time, consecutive, periodical crouches on the tips of one's toes, and other methods. Alongside physical torture, ImpSec also employs psychological methods.

Infiltration Edit

The Imperial Security has formal categorizations of each type of informant, and has official guidelines on how to extract information from, and control, those who they came into contact with. The roles of informants ranged from those already in some way involved in state security (such as the police and the Imperial Service) to those in the dissident movements (such as in the arts and the human rights organizations). Information gathered about the latter groups was frequently used to divide or discredit members. Informants are made to feel important, given material or social incentives, and were imbued with a sense of adventure, and only few are coerced into cooperating.

Psychological harassment Edit

The Imperial Security is a leading agency in psychological harassment technique of enemies of the Empire. The technique is nicknamed "corrosion". One great advantage of the harassment is that its subtle nature means that it is able to be denied. The psychological harassment was developed starting from the late 2980s, in order to have an instrument more useful than overt persecution in several contexts, also due to increasing criticism which some political opponents started to make. It was realised that psychological harassment is far less likely to be recognised for what it is: therefore its victims, and their supporters, are less likely to be provoked into active resistance. Tactics employed under the harassment procedure generally involve the disruption of the victim's private or family life. This often includes psychological attacks such as breaking into homes and messing with the contents – moving furniture, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one variety of tea with another. Other practices included property damage, sabotage of cars, purposely incorrect medical treatment, smear campaigns including sending falsified compromising photos or documents to the victim's family, psychological warfare and subversion, mysterious phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending sex toys to the target's wife.

Influence activities Edit

Outside of wartime, the "soft power" is used to express the external power of the Empire. This mode of expression of the power may allow a State, mainly through the use of influence activity, to guide and shape reality beyond national borders according to its interests.
The influence is the activity carried out by subjects in order to guide it to your advantage to the views of an individual or a group. The implementing activities consist essentially in the orientation of opinions.
The information warfare is a concept based on the idea that information is a battlefield that sees information constituting, at the same time, an offensive instrument and an objective. The information warfare includes the actions taken in order to gain superiority in the information domain undermining the systems, processes and information assets of the opponent and while defending their systems and networks as well as, more generally, the use of the information to the pursuit of national interests. The information warfare also includes a series of activities typical of the traditional intelligence but who may take advantage from the influence.
Therefore, the influence is an activity of the intelligence agencies, through which two or more actors are confronted. It is conducted in the information domain. The influence activity is a non-ordinary intelligence activity, being an action by which one tries to determine to their own advantage the policy of a certain country, influencing the decision-making process. The interference is an influence activity on a very large scale, through the use of important positions, such as mass media, financial centres or individual financial assets acquired secretly or even openly.
The influence activity, especially that of a strategic level, is divided by means of a complex system, consisting of a wide range of organized structures, and individuals, some of whom are not aware of their role.
The influence is based on the targeted use of information in order to generate cognitive and psychological effects that can alter the perceptions and influence behaviours, attitudes and opinions.
The 'readjustment' of the person affected can be induced not only by verbal messages and arguments but also through the use of images, sound and behaviour: the information used in a process of influence are understood in their broadest sense. The influence of behaviour, attitudes and opinions can be developed both by the use of information totally true, by giving precedence to the factors of credibility and attractiveness, and through the use of deception techniques. The agent of influence is a secret agent who operates in disguise but openly, without committing any crime, spreading ideas, supporting theories, directing the movements of opinion, in accordance with the instructions received and followed in order to achieve certain effects in the environment opponent according to the objectives of the policy of your country. The agent of influence is also the one who acts for personal belief in the same way, without realizing that he is being manipulated by others and without realizing, perhaps in good faith, that he is working for foreign interests and even in conflict with his own interests and those of his own country. The agent of influence does not necessarily have the sole task of operate in the field of influenza but also can deal with, simultaneously, intelligence gathering.
This potential duplicity of charge stems from the position that often covers the agent of influence within the enemy establishment: a privileged position which allows him to directly manipulate the perceptions of the other party and guide their behaviours and decisions, allowing him to have access to sensitive, and sometimes fundamental, information. Agents of influence can be recruited among executives of a country or "helped" to rise to high levels of political, bureaucratic, scientific, financial, banking establishments or through individuals of a special personal authority, cultural and moral. The agent of influence is not always related to an organic relationship with the intelligence apparatus that operates frequently and the relationship between the agent and the structure is flexible in nature and varies depending on the circumstances.
The agents of influence can be classified into three categories, graded based on the awareness of the agents and the intensity of the control exercised by the apparatus against them:

  • Trusted contacts: persons who, while sharing ideals and objectives of the foreign country, they are not willing to receive instructions or directions on how to operate and normally these agents are not paid.
  • Controlled agents: agents that receive instructions and guidelines on how to conduct the operations of influence and, as a rule, receive remuneration for the services performed.
  • Non aware agents: agents that, in addition to being bound by an organic relationship with the structure of intelligence that uses them, act unconsciously manipulated by the resources of the service and sometimes against their own interests.

However, agents of influence are not mere executors of orders and are not motivated , in general, from an economic rewards. The agents of influence, although enjoy a wide margin of freedom, however, are 'managed' and coordinated by organized structures, due to the security apparatus, especially in the case of campaigns to influence complex, characterized by a high level of sophistication and projected in the long term. The strategic planning phase must be complemented by a control activity, aimed at continuous monitoring of the campaign, in order to make, if necessary, adjustments and corrections, or, at worst, to suspend the campaign itself.

Communications interception Edit

In order to lawfully conduct communications surveillance, an ordinary law enforcement agency must seek authorisation from a court and produce an order to a network operator or datasphere service provider, which is then obliged to intercept and then to deliver the requested information. In contrast, Imperial Security operatives can conduct surveillance directly by utilising lawful interception equipment called SPESYS, operated and managed by the Signals and Communications Security Department.
SPESYS is the Barrayar’s three-planetswide system of automated and remote legal interception infrastructure. Full implementation of the project occurred in the early 2990s. The Ministry of Posts and Communications signed off the first SPESYS-related document in 2995. It obliges operators to allow security services to listen in to conversations and to intercept messages.
SPESYS-1 intercepts real time communications, including mobile devices, while SPESYS-2 is responsible for intercepting datasphere traffic. SPESYS-3 gathers information from all other communication media, and offers long-term storage, providing access to all user data.
Every Barrayaran datasphere service provider is obliged to install remotely-accessible surveillance systems at its own expense. Licences issued to providers and hosting providers require companies whose business is to rent out site space on their servers to give the security services access to these servers without informing site owners. The licence-holder must fulfil the demands laid down by the Imperial Security for the execution of operational investigative activities, and also take steps to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of the organisational and tactical practices of these activities.

Culture of the Imperial Security Edit

Being an elite branch within the whole Barrayaran government, the Imperial Security has developed through its decades - and still is continuing to develop - a strong internal culture and an its own reference system and a world's view. In turn, the Imperial Security itself is featured by subtle variations on values or practices or simply rituals and unofficial symbols, although the overall esprit de corps is fully prominent over individual department rituals and cultures, also due to the fact that personnel is frequently moved trough ImpSec departments.
The Eyed Sport Society, founded in 2893 by Aleksandr Negri, is the sport society which represents the Imperial Security, and is sponsored by them. The society has an its own special status.
Differences between Departments are often underlined by using unofficial - but openly tolerated - emblems, which are primarily shown at recreational facilities of both troops and Officers.
Professional background of the ImpSec personnel involves not only police-related knowledge, but also a more general view and psychological expertise, as well as a wide range of Intelligence-unrelated professions (from economists, financial experts, legal counsellors, technicians, armed security experts, bodyguards, doctors, military scientists, to crafts typical of espionage, as cryptographers, forgers, computer technicians, experts of observation, sabotage and explosives techniques and so on.

Imperial Security Headquarters buildings Edit

Due to the high-grade centralization, the Imperial Security Headquarters have grown, through the time, from a medium-sized villa to several buildings across Vorbarr Sultana. Although nowadays ImpSec HQs are based on three distinct buildings, ImpSec HQs par excellence is an ugly and sullen building in the very city centre, which had exclusively hosted them for 76 years, since 2850 to 2936. At the present day, out of the three actual HQ buildings, only the first of them is officially named "ImpSec HQs", while the other two buildings are named "Emperor Ezar Security Building" (formally "ImpSec Main Office #01 - Emperor Ezar Building", Battle of Hagen Hub Cross, Vorbarr Sultana, Vorbarra District, Barrayar) and "Fort General Vorrutyer" (formally "ImpSec Main Office #02 - Fort General Vorrutyer", Battle of Solstice Alley, Vorbarr Sultana, Vorbarra District, Barrayar).

Ezar Building ImpSec

The Ezar Building, former headquarters of the Imperial Security.

The shift from one-building HQs to multiple buildings was caused in 2936 by a major accident. After the building was undermined by some Jacksonian people, by means of a prototype mycoborer, the soil turned under the building to mud, causing ImpSec HQ to sink several metres straight down into the ground. The building was stripped, cleared of classified and valuable materials, and sold off to a private investor. Finding a way to re-raise the building back to its original height and position, in following months he converted it into a themed resort: the resort opened in early 2938, about a year after the accident. The building was purchased back by the Imperium in 2969 and it was reopened and reassigned to the Imperial Security.
After the accident, however, ImpSec took refuge within some other government buildings, mainly Castle Vorrutyer and - for then-Chief of Imperial Security, General Guy Allegre, even the Imperial Residence. By little more than year, however, a great building was completed and named "Emperor Ezar Building": it was inaugurated in mid 2938 by Emperor Gregor, former-Chief of Imperial Security Simon Illyan and then-incumbent Chief Guy Allegre.


Fort Vorrutyer, current see of the ImpSec Troops.

Following the 2967 heart attack suffered by the Emperor and, more importantly, the growing political tensions and difficulties, ImpSec was assigned a further building, in the surroundings of Vorbarr Sultana. The building, a former, renovated military fort, was the "Fort General Vorrutyer" and it was very fit for the increasingly field-involved ImpSec activity. However, due to the climax of the severe political crisis, both Vorrutyer Fort and Ezar Building were not large enough to contain ImpSec central HQs. Therefore Crown Prince Serg Vorbarra seized back the property of the historical ImpSec HQs building, and reassigned it to Imperial Security. By 2977 both Chief of Imperial Security and central command activities were re-transferred to the building, alongside with some other offices and bureaus. Offices and departments are distributed among the buildings as follows:

  • ImpSec HQs: Chief of Imperial Security; Central Command; Imperial Security Headquarters Buildings Command; Forensics; Security Cell Blocks;
  • Ezar Building: Domestic Affairs; Komarran Affairs; ImpSec Medical Service; Administration; Food Service; Finance;
  • Vorrutyer Fort: Cryptography; Decipherments; Sergyaran Affairs; Housekeeping and Physical Plant; ImpSec Troops Command.

All three buildings have a garrison of ImpSec Troops in order to resist attacks and assaults, as well as an auxiliary infirmary.

ImpSec HQs Edit


Imperial Security Headquarters seen from the outer walls. Gargoyles on the top are hidden by solid steel nets.

Imperial Security Headquarters is the headquarters of Imperial Security; they are located in Vorbarr Sultana. The building was designed by Mad Architect Dono Vorrutyer at the time of the reign of Yuri the Mad Vorbarra: the construction began in 2856 and ended in 2860. The building was built in order to achieve a severe and majestic impression over visitors and ordinary passers: pained-looking gargoyles entirely circle the edifice. While the aesthetics of the building are often criticized, they are well-constructed so far as defensibility and resistance to various kinds of assault is concerned. Furthermore, the gargoyles sculpted in the round possess a severe political meaning: the building, and for extension the whole Imperial Security, frighten off and protect the Emperor as well as people from any evil or harmful spirit or trick. Nowadays gargoyles are surrounded by solid nets which protect the statues from the weather and hide them. The whole is surrounded in turn by a cobblestone courtyard and high stone walls topped with iron spikes, pierced by two guarded gates.

The building itself has no windows and is hermetically isolated from the outside, with a complete air recycling system, of the same type as that used on the starships. It has also explosion-containment structures. The air recycling system is based on single-room cell units: every room has a filter system and an analysis unit, headed by a central unit, which heats the air to thousands of degrees to destroy bacterial spores and the molecules of war gasses, before cooling it and putting it back in circulation. Video monitors watch all the ducts and piping. Being the forerunner for all the newer sensitive facilities, air vents are kept thin, with several obstacles against the penetration, including grates and solid membranas in order to prevent entry by vectors or humans, and deliberate metal disconnects to avoid sound transfer.
The building has two public entrances on the first floor, guarded by the the janitorial staff, made up of serving soldiers, veterans of at least 10 years standing. To reach the entrance is necessary to climb a 5-metres steep stairway. Inside the entrance is a security area, where identity documents are checked, and a cloakroom where everyone leaves his coat, with the exception the Emperor or his Auditors. Entrances themselves consist of both great bronze doors, which are rarely opened, and of ordinary entrances.
Inside the building there is a maze of corridors and lift-tubes; outsiders are almost always assigned an escort, both for security and internal navigation. The clerks and joint-service analysts work in long, bare corridors lined with tiny cubicles, dotted by coffee dispensers; these dispenser have assumed a sort of social and professional function, being the locations where ImpSec personnel meet each other (also from distinct sub-departments), allowing and favouring diverse opinions, often not directly related to working issues, but still useful. This allows a deeper and wider issue comprehension which works also outside the formal and pre-ordinated inter-department working groups. Being a successful method, the practice of disperse food and beverage dispenser has been continued also in the new buildings, as well as in the second life of the original building. However, alongside the isolated dispenser, there are also some mess halls located on the central floors; food rations to detachments depart from these kitchens.
Forensic laboratories and a clinic occupy a full floor. There is also an infirmary, small but complete, with a couple of examining rooms, private rooms, cells for treating prisoners and guarded witnesses, a surgery, and an interrogation-chemistry lab. The detention area is located in an inner quadrant of the second floor; elsewhere are small but comfortable secured apartments for protected witnesses.
The sub-sub-basement of this building is filled with cells for political prisoners.
The communication system is secure: every com-console can open an secure line. The computer file system is super-secure, and data cannot be copied out wireless; a physical connection is required, with a special cable. Each door, especially those accessing to sensistive rooms, can be secured by handprints and retinal scanners. Palm scanners read heat, pulse, and electrical conductivity, in order to prevent the use of a cut-away hand.
Nicknames for the old building include "Paranoia Central" and "Cockroach Central", the latter name being used even by the people who work there.

Related voices Edit

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