A category of secret collaborator – in the case of the Czechoslovak intelligence service (Directorate I of the Ministry of the Interior) a foreign national, a stateless person, Czechoslovak citizen or Czechoslovak emigrant, etc. acquired for secret and deliberate collaboration with the Communist intelligence service, or acquired under another pretence (e.g. under a foreign flag). Agents had the objective and subjective opportunity to carry out intelligence gathering tasks, maintain conspiratorial links, and subordinate themselves to the discipline of the intelligence service that was applied directly or in the name of the foreign flag under which the secret collaboration was carried out. If the agent's handling officer was changed, the agent was handed over to a new handling officer. For these reasons, the agent was the most important link in the network of secret collaborators.

The intelligence service recruited agents from specific areas of interest or persons with professional or other contacts to areas or persons of interest, or persons that could potentially form such relationships in the future (potential secret collaborators). Members of other communist parties holding certain positions could only be recruited in accordance with a Directive of the Minister of the Interior of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

The intelligence service also recruited Czechoslovak citizens who had:

  1. the opportunity to permanently emigrate abroad or were willing to undertake fake emigration; the opportunity to obtain foreign citizenship and build up the intelligence capabilities under management of the intelligence service or with its possible assistance;
  2. the opportunity to work as ancillary secret collaborators.

also see: categories of secret collaborators, personal file

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