The Defense Security Service (DSS) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). Within areas of DoD responsibility, DSS is tasked with facilitating personnel security investigations,
supervising industrial security, and performing security education and awareness training. It is not a Federal law enforcement organization; it does not have police powers
. Originally known as the Defense Investigative Service (DIS), DIS was established in 1972. DSS changed from DIS in 1999.
For fiscal year 2008, DSS was authorized 621 civilian employees. Of those, about 350 are Industrial Security Representatives, who will be responsible for about 12,000 industry facilities under DSS jurisdiction. DSS Industrial Security Representatives and Information System Security Professionals are credentialed Special Agents.
In November 2004, investigators from DSS were transferred to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This move consolidated the vast majority of Federal government personnel background investigations with OPM. DSS still processes industrial clearance requests for the DoD, and acts as the liaison to the OPM for the DoD.
The Defense Security Service is not to be confused with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) of the State Department. The special agents of the Diplomatic Security Service are sworn federal law enforcement agents.