Section 31: Wikis


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Section 31
Universe Star Trek universe
Type Intelligence agency
Founded Established in Starfleet charter
Location unknown
Key people Agent Harris (2150s)
Agent Luther Sloan (2370s)
Purpose Defend the United Federation of Planets by any means necessary
Technologies Classified, United Federation of Planets' technologies
Affiliations United Earth (superseded)
United Federation of Planets

In the Star Trek fictional universe, Section 31 is the name of an autonomous intelligence and defense organization. It is presented as a special security operation, manned by United Federation of Planets citizens, that is not subject to the normal constraints of Starfleet ethical protocols.[1] The organization appears, or is mentioned, across eight episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.



Within Star Trek, Section 31 exists outside Starfleet Intelligence's influence and deals with threats to Earth's and, later, the Federation's security.[2] Its operating authority stems from a provision of the Starfleet charter—Article 14, Section 31, from which its name is derived—that makes allowances for "bending the rules" during times of extraordinary threats.[3]

Unlike other secret police organizations in the Star Trek universe, such as the Romulan Tal Shiar and the Cardassian Obsidian Order, Section 31 is not an actual branch of government. Unlike those organizations, who are greatly feared within their populaces, Section 31 does not exist to enforce government policy or punish traitors. Indeed, according to the Deep Space Nine episode "Inquisition" which introduced the organization, very few in the Star Trek universe - including the highest levels of Federation government even know it exists. Accountable to no-one, Section 31 focuses on external threats, and pursues those it identifies by whatever means it sees fit.

Little of Section 31's history has been revealed on-screen. Most references to the organization appear in episodes of Deep Space Nine, although Section 31 also appears in Star Trek: Enterprise. Several works of Star Trek spin-off fiction expand on Section 31's operations; Pocket Books published a four-part series profiling connections between Section 31's operations and the missions of James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, and the crews of Deep Space Nine and the USS Voyager. These novels explicitly link Section 31 to Fleet Admiral Cartwright's actions in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Vice Admiral Matthew Dougherty's actions in Star Trek: Insurrection. Section 31 is also heavily featured in the Star Trek: Enterprise novel The Good That Men Do, in which Trip Tucker joins the organization after his supposed "death".

Controversial topics

The implications of Section 31 have been described as "troubling" and its goals and methods "deeply questionable".[1] Its methods include brainwashing, torture, and, as revealed by the end of the Deep Space Nine TV series, genocide, the crime that is most opposed by the Federation. The genocide involves the creation, by Section 31, of a disease designed to kill a single species, the Founders, with the aim of destroying the Dominion.[1]


Throughout the series, several Deep Space Nine officers, including Captain Sisko, infiltrate Section 31, aiming to obtain from it a cure for the disease in order to save the life of Odo, but themselves collude in hiding the crime. This is part of a pattern of overall loss of moral credibility by Starfleet, in comparison to that which it had in the original series and The Next Generation.[1] The Deep Space Nine series and the film Star Trek: Insurrection both "position the Starfleet authorities in a very dubious light".[1]

Section 31 agents include the following characters:

  • Luther Sloan: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Harris: Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Malcolm Reed: Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Novels only:
    • Charles Tucker III (Star Trek: Enterprise; novel The Good That Men Do)
    • Admiral Cartwright (Star Trek VI; novel Section 31: Cloak)
    • Admiral Dougherty (Star Trek: Insurrection; novel Section 31: Abyss)
    • Commander Cortin Zweller (Star Trek: The Next Generation;novel Section 31: Rogue)
    • Ambassador Aubin Tabor (Star Trek: The Next Generation; novel Section 31: Rogue)
    • Ensign Roberta Luke (Star Trek: Voyager; novel Section 31: Shadow)


Star Trek: Enterprise
Although produced later, these episodes come chronologically before the below Deep Space Nine episodes.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek novels
Star Trek Comics
  • Star Trek Year Four Enterprise Experiment issue 2 published by IDW.
Unofficial Stories


  1. ^ a b c d e Michele Barrett and Duncan Barrett (2001). Star Trek: The Human Frontier. Routledge. pp. 65–66. ISBN 0415929822.  
  2. ^ DS9: "Inquisition (DS9 episode)"
  3. ^ ENT: "Affliction (ENT episode)"

Further reading

  • Jeffrey T. Richelson (July 2003). "The IPCRESS File: The Great Game in Film and Fiction, 1953–2002". International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 16 (3): 462–498. doi:10.1080/713830443.  

External links



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