Security Information Service


The Security Information Service (BIS) (Czech: Bezpečnostní informační služba), is the primary domestic national intelligence agency of the Czech Republic.[3] It is responsible for collecting, analyzing, reporting and disseminating intelligence on threats to Czech Republic's national security, and conducting operations, covert and overt, both domestically and abroad. It also reports to and advises the Government of the Czech Republic on national security issues and situations that threaten the security of the nation.

The BIS headquarters is located in Stodůlky, Prague 5. The Security Information Service reports directly to the Government, Prime Minister and President of the Czech Republic and is overseen by the Permanent Commission of the Chamber of Deputies.[a]

Security Information Service
Bezpečnostní informační služba
(BIS)
BIS logo
Seal of the Security Information Service
Agency overview
Formed30 July 1994
Preceding agencies
  • Security Information Service of the Czech Republic (1992)
  • (Czechoslovak) Federal Security Information Service
JurisdictionGovernment of the Czech Republic
HeadquartersPrague, Czech Republic
MottoAudi, Vide, Tace
 (Hear, See, Be silent)
Employees800 (estimate)[1]
Annual budget$65 million (as of 2017)[2]
Agency executive
  • Michal Koudelka, Director
Parent agencynone
Websitewww.bis.cz

Command, control and organization

The BIS is a statutory body under the Act No. 154/1994 Coll., on the Security Information Service and it is strictly apolitical and has no police powers - BIS cannot detain, arrest or interrogate suspects. The service reports to the Government, Prime Minister and President of the Czech Republic and its activities are regulated and controlled by the Government, Permanent Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and its own internal audit.[5] The service is headed by the Director who is appointed by the Prime Minister with consent of the Committee on Security of the Chamber of Deputies.[6]

The current Director is Michal Koudelka, serving since 15 August 2016, after being sworn in by the Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.[7]

Duties

The Security Information Service performs duties associated with the analysis, democracy and constitutionality, terrorism, counter-intelligence, cybersecurity, organized crime, proliferation and use of strategically important intelligence regarding the fields of politics, economics and intelligence within the territory of the Czech Republic.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ Spurný, Jaroslav. "Pro koho pracuje BIS". Respekt (in Czech). Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  2. ^ "Zákon o státním rozpočtu České republiky na rok 2017" (in Czech). Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  3. ^ "What we do". BIS. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Permanent Commission on Oversight over the work of the Security Information Service". Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Audit and Oversight". BIS. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Věrná služba ředitele BIS" (in Czech). Respekt.cz. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Michal Koudelka becomes new head of counter-intelligence service". Czech Radio. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  8. ^ "About us". BIS. Retrieved 25 September 2015.

External links

Notes

  1. ^ The official translated name into English is the Permanent Commission on Oversight over the work of the Security Information Service.[4]
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Centre Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats (Czech: Centrum proti terorismu a hybridním hrozbám) is a counterpropaganda and counter-terrorism unit of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic primarily aimed at countering disinformation, fake news, hoaxes and foreign propaganda. The Centre also monitors internal security threats including migration, extremism, violation of public order and soft target attacks as well as "disinformation campaigns related to internal security".

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Since transitioning into a democracy in 1989, joining NATO in 1999, and the European Union in 2004, the Czech Republic has gradually become a close economic partner and formal military ally of the United States, drastically improving bilateral ties in the years since through increasingly extensive cooperation in areas ranging from counterterrorism to cultural exchanges.

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 39% of Czechs approve of the job performance of the U.S. leadership, with 26% disapproving and 35% uncertain.

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Military Intelligence (Czech Republic)

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Vladimír Hučín

Vladimír Hučín (May 25, 1952 in Gottwaldov (Zlín), Czechoslovakia) is a Czech political celebrity and dissident of both communist and post/communist era.

In the 1970s and 80's he used explosives to destroy various propaganda symbols of communism and distributed anti-communist leaflets; he got caught and was tried four times, received various forms of punishment including imprisonment; he served a grand total of 40 months in prison. After his release from prison in 1987 he signed the Charter 77 proclamation. Even when he wasn't imprisoned he suffered extensive discrimination from the Czech communist authorities and their Secret Police (StB). He was eventually rehabilitated of all the communist era convictions and they were rendered null and void.

After the so-called Velvet Revolution of 1989 he worked in the Civic Commissions (these were administering clearances to the members of the ordinary Police force) and later was nominated by the Confederation of Political Prisoners to work at the Security Information Service (BIS), a Czech intelligence agency and once admitted there, he achieved a rank of Captain and was regarded as one of the its best officers.

In 2001, when he came to the conclusion that an ultra-left wingers of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia were behind several unsolved explosions that took place in his home town of Prerov (of which he is an honorary citizen), he was fired from BIS and soon after that arrested and imprisoned on 7 unsubstantiated charges. He was held in custody only few days short of a year and spent a portion of that time in a psychiatric hospital. In spite of numerous requests the then-president Václav Havel refused to look into the matter and grant him clemency, even though Havel was well known for his extensive use of clemency while in office. On the other hand, in 2001 Havel pardoned Hučín's mother, accused of illegal possession of firearms. Similarly several petitions with thousands of signatures to the Czech Senate went unheeded.

Hučín's trial ran for five years without public being admitted into the court room (on pretense that the court was dealing with classified materials) and on one occasion even being ejected by a brutal force from the court house. In November 2005 he was acquitted of all charges, an appellate court confirmed the verdict on April 21. 2006 in Olomouc. During those 5 years, while out of the custody, he could not find any work because prospective employers feared the persecution by the authorities. After he was acquitted, there was no compensation or even an apology coming to Vladimir Hučín from the Czech Republic or BIS for his wrongful imprisonment. Any documents related to his case are effectively closed to the public (as well as to himself) and even Parliamentary Security Commission was not allowed to see them by the BIS.

Vladimír Hučín tried (unsuccessfully) for a seat in the Senate in 2006 and again in 2008.

Through his website and through the interviews with the media Vladimír Hučín continues to point out the persons he deems unfit for their public office.

He co-authored two books which describe his ordeal, "Není to o mně ale o nás" (It's about us, not about me) and "Hrdinům se neděkuje" (Heroes don't receive thanks); especially the first one is a plentiful source of information about him and his work.

A short documentary film called "Pravdě podobný příběh Vladimíra Hučína" (Truth-like story of Vladimir Hucin) which describes Hucin's post-comminst era ordeal has been made by Martin Vadas.

Czech Senator Jaromír Štětina dedicated one chapter of his book "Brutalita moci" (Brutality of Power) to the case of Vladimir Hucin; in it he extensively describes not only the Hucin's case but also how the Parliamentary Security Commission was treated by the BIS.

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