A broader function of the Estonian Internal Security Service as a government agency within the area of government of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is maintenance of national security through collection of information and implementation of preventive measures as well as investigation of offences to the extent established by the Government of the Republic Regulation.
The principles and trends guiding the activity of the Estonian Internal Security Service are set out in a number of framework documents:
- Constitution of the Republic of Estonia
- Principles of the security policy of the Republic of Estonia
- Strategic security threat assessment of the Republic of Estonia
- Main trends of the security policy of Estonia
- Development plan for internal security
- Development plans for the area of government of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and for the Service
- Anti-corruption strategy
- Main principles of counter-terrorism combat of Estonia
Tasks of the Estonian Internal Security Service:
- collection and processing of information for the prevention and combating of activities aimed at changing by force the constitutional order and territorial integrity of Estonia;
- collection and processing of information for the prevention and combating of intelligence activities directed against the state;
- collection and processing of information for the prevention and combating of terrorism (including financing and supporting thereof);
- protection of state secrets and classified information of foreign states, performance of security vetting;
- non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, conduct of proceedings of offences related to explosive substances;
- anti-corruption combat;
- conduct of proceedings of other offences within the investigative jurisdiction of the Service.
The Estonian Internal Security Service is among the security authorities that have also been assigned the tasks of the police. It means investigation of offences and, for instance, the legal right to apply coercive measures.
The prime objective of the Estonian Internal Security Service within the limits of its competence is to reduce security threats aimed at the Republic of Estonia and by that to maintain national security. However, ensuring a qualitative security environment in today's world is not confined to the territory of one state. Sharing the common security area of NATO and the European Union obliges Estonia to contribute to the prevention of various global threats (i.e. terrorism, mass disorders, cyber crime, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction). In this regard, the Estonian Internal Security Service has an important role to fulfil by cooperating actively with the security and law enforcement authorities of other states and with international organisations. The aim of the joint activity is to protect the core values such as: democracy, human rights and freedoms and the state based on the rule of law.