The dreaded Tal'Shiar are one of the most efficient intelligence agencies in the Galaxy. Romulan citizens live in terror of them, and other species have learned how deadly they can be. The Tal'Shiar are the Romulan secret police. They are one of the most ruthless organisations in the Galaxy and inspire fear in all Romulans, from lowly shopkeepers to powerful starship commanders.
The Romulan Secret Service
The Tal'Shiar, as the Intelligence Agency of the Romulan Star Command, has a broad scope of power extending into all walks of Romulan life, and all citizens are assured in their saftey knowing that the Tal'Shiar are everywhere, watching for disloyalty and threats to the RSC. The organisation is considered above the law and is responsible for ensuring the loyalty of ALL citizens, including high placed government officials and military personnel.
The Tal'Shiar sets its own budget, chooses its own personnel, and practices most of its duties behind closed doors, without anyone but the highest, most trusted officials in the government knowing. Romulan Citizens always cooperate with elements of the Intelligence Service as they are are supposed to be ever vigilant for signs of disloyalty so that they can report any offenders. Most of them are afraid to voice their own opinions against anything the government tells them; as speaking out in any way is often taken as a sign of disloyalty and one never knows where the Tal'Shiar may be hiding. As a critical section of the RSC, the Tal'Shiar also recieves full cooperation from the government and the military, to an extreme that an agent may commandeer anything he needs to complete his mission, even if he needs an entire Warbird.
An agent's orders are to be followed immediately, without question. Questioning an agent of the Tal'Shiar is also taken as sign of disloyalty. By the same token, members of the Tal'Shiar are expected not to abuse their power. The Tal'Shiar has a reputation for handling its own affairs, and any agent who abuses his power is promptly dealt with. In order to carry out their mission, they must, and do, maintain an image of infallibility.
At the helm of this organization is the Chairman. He is appointed by the Praetor and confirmed by the Imperial Senate, and can be removed from office with sufficient evidence of abuse of power. It is a largely political position, and candidates are usually chosen from government or military officers, for their knowledge of the RSC and the law, or former Tal'Shiar agents, for their knowledge of Tal'Shiar Operations and their considerable field experience.
The Tal'Shiar is arranged in a strict hierarchy, but it sometimes violates it's own chain of command in the interests of efficiency or neccessity. If a certain project requires high security, the Chairman may assign it to an agent directly, bypassing all that agent's superiors. These situations occur rarely, but it gives the Chairman considerable personal control over the Tal'Shiar and allows it to respond quickly to the RSC's needs. An agent's security clearance tells how much he knows about Tal'Shiar Operations. Some are fairly well known throughout the organization, others are so secret only the Chairman and the agents driectly involved are aware of them.
Commander Konsab, a lecturer at the Romulan Intelligence Academy explains that "...in order to function, military officers have to trust eachother. Members of the Tal'Shiar, on the other hand, trust no one. They expect deception, so they always find it."