Section 31 is a secretive black operations intelligence agency that features in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Section 31 was a secret intelligence agency that was part of Starfleet. The organization was traced to Earth after it had attained space-flight capabilities where it operated in secret. (ENT: Divergence) After the formation of the United Federation of Planets, the agency was incorporated as part of the original Starfleet Charter and during the course of its existence had dealt with threats to the Federation that had jeopardized its survival. (DS9: Inquisition)
Around the year 2230, the agency was responsible for heading Project Daedalus after learning that the Klingons were attempting to develop time travel technology. (DIS: The Red Angel) In the 2250's, the Federation was experiencing a unique phenomena with entities referred to as the Red Angels. These were said to be responsible for a number of unique signals from various points in the galaxy. Section 31 believed the Red Angel to be capable of time incursions and believed the entities to be dangerous with them being involved in the investigation of the phenomena. (DIS: The Sounds of Thunder) During this time, Section 31 was tasked with capturing a rogue Starfleet officer named Spock who had broken out of a psych ward and had been accused of the murder of several individuals. (DIS: Saints of Imperfection) In this time, it was discovered that a danger emerged from Section 31's threat response system called Control who in the future had developed sentience and was seeking to evolve its current counterpart whereupon it intended to engage in a galactic purge of organic life forms. Thus, it was discovered that Spock was actually innocent of the crimes attributed to him and that the Red Angel was a time traveller attempting to stop Control from achieving its goals. (DIS: Project Daedalus)
In the guise of Internal Affairs, Section 31 created an elaborate simulation in order to test Doctor Julian Bashir at Deep Space 9. This operation made it appear as if Bashir was subject to an investigation for being a Dominion spy. Julian Bashir managed to discover the simulation whereupon Sloane attempted to recruit him before departing the station. The doctor revealed these findings to Captain Sisko and other members of the command staff where they were unable to locate Section 31 when Starfleet did not confirm it's existence. (DS9: Inquisition)
In appearance, Section 31 was an agency operating within the Federation that was devoted to covert ops, intelligence gathering and threat assessment. (DIS: Saints of Imperfection) They were considered part of another branch of Starfleet Intelligence where officially they were known as Section 31 who kept a low profile. Their mission was to search out and identify potential dangers to the Federation with these being dealt with quietly. (DS9: Inquisition) It derived its name from Article 13, Section 31 of the Starfleet Charter that allowed for certain rules of conduct to be bent during times of extraordinary crisis. (ENT: Divergence) Members were provided black badges that was a black-coated version of the Starfleet insignia. (DIS: Point of Light)
In terms of operations, they did not submit reports or seek approval for specific missions as they were an autonomous department. They were accountable to no one but themselves and had survived in this form for centuries. It was believed that it took special people to serve as operatives of Section 31 who put aside their personal ambitions for the greater good of the Federation. Despite their actions, they held themselves as loyal Federation members who valued its principles despite violating them as a matter of course though this was to protect them. Since the birth of the Federation, the organization had learnt to cover their tracks thus preventing them from being discovered. (DS9: Inquisition) It was noted that they had court martials for their own operatives if they disobeyed orders. (DIS: Saints of Imperfection) Section 31 did not allow non-assigned personnel to stay on-board their vessels or facilities due to the secrecy of their operations. (DIS: Light and Shadows)
Starfleet Command did not confirm the existence of Section 31 nor did they deny it. (DS9: Inquisition) During operations alongside Starfleet, they were known to field a liaison to work on their behalf. (DIS: Saints of Imperfection)
A system present within Section 31 was Control. (DIS: Point of Light) It was noted to be responsible for modelling threat assessments. (DIS: The Sounds of Thunder) This was a sophisticated artificial intelligence program that was designed to chart threats from data fed to it and develop a solution. (DIS: Project Daedalus)
It was shown to had possessed the latest and most advanced technology available in Starfleet. This included synthesizers able to produce organic samples such as severed heads from the smallest of genetic material which was used for covert operations. (DIS: Point of Light) Certain vessels operated by Section 31 included ships that had a holographic camouflage. This allowed the vessel to project a disguise around their ship making them appear as something else such as an asteroid in order to remain hidden. (DIS: Saints of Imperfection)
One initiative headed by Section 31 was Project Daedalus which sought to develop time travel technology in response to attempts to do so by the Klingon Empire. This involved the creation of a specialised suit that was powered by a time crystal that allowed the user to travel through time. (DIS: The Red Angel)
- Harris :
- Malcolm Reed :
- Patar :
- Leland : a male human who once served alongside Christopher Pike but after an incident at Cestus III he began to head Section 31 during the Red Angel event. (Saints of Imperfection)
- Philippa Georgiou : actually her counterpart from the Mirror Universe who was accidently brought into the mainstream universe by the U.S.S. Discovery where she came to be recruited by Section 31. (DIS: Point of Light)
- Ash Tyler :
- Sloane :
- Julian Bashir :
- Section 31 was first introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space 9.
- Actress Michelle Yeoh in an interview on IGN commented that, "Because Section 31 has all the most updated gadgets, because they are the most informed, and she, as an engineer, she can hack into Section 31. And [the Section 31 member who recruited her] Leland thinks he’s in charge of the ship. But she finds out secrets. Because that’s what Section 31 does. It’s collected secrets all over the universe about certain people, and history, and things like that. And so, when you have [those] kind of secrets, it’s power."
- In Star Trek: Into Darkness, Section 31 was shown to exist in the alternate reality known as the Kelvin Timeline due to Nero inadvertently going into the past. Section 31 was noted as being top-secret branch of Starfleet with Admiral A. Marcus heading it. They were developing defence technology and training to officers to gather intelligence on the Klingons and any other potential enemy that were a danger to the Federation.
In other media
- In Star Trek: Starfleet Command III, Section 31 was briefly mentioned in dialogue in the setting of the strategy video game.
- In Star Trek Online, Section 31 appeared in the setting of the MMORPG video game. It was shown to still exist in 2410 where its existence was more widely known by Starfleet but its operations were a mystery to the rest of the Federation.
- Star Trek: Deep Space 9: "Inquisition"
- Star Trek: Enterprise:
- Star Trek: Discovery: