Categories of secret collaborators

In the Czechoslovak intelligence service a secret collaborator was a Czechoslovak citizen or foreigner recruited by the intelligence service either directly or secretly to perform tasks according to its needs and plans. The categories of secret collaborators were: agent, secret contact, ideological collaborator and confidant. Several of these formed a network of secret collaborators (agent network), which was built as an organic unit to ensure the continuous development of intelligence gathering activity. The success, fluidity and secrecy of all intelligence work required that the network of secret collaborators consist of an appropriate ratio of potential and ancillary agencies. Depending on the nature of the agency's intelligence gathering operations, secret collaborators were categorised as belonging to:

the primary agency (positional), which immediately participated in the obtaining of documents, material and information of a secret nature from buildings, identification, recruitment and handling of other secret collaborators, performance of active measures and provision of documentation for illegal intelligence services.

  • an ancillary agency – used to ensure the organisational-operational side of the intelligence service's activities (installation, monitoring, observation, connection including cover address, conspiracy flat, breaking into buildings, installation of listening devices, etc.)
  • a potential agency, which was without immediate application at the time of recruitment, but had a reasonable expectation of gaining intelligence in the future.

see also: personal file

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