The powers and responsibilities of the BIS in regard to securing information on intelligence services of foreign powers
- Section 5, paragraph 1, letter b) of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic –the BIS secures information on intelligence services of foreign powers
A significant part of intelligence activities (especially the preparation for operations) cannot be summed up in or covered by any legal norms or a strict definition valid indefinitely.
Counterintelligence activities (counterintelligence) are an integral part of the efforts of defensive (internal, security) information services. These efforts focus on collecting, gathering and evaluating information on phenomena pertaining to the intentions and activities of intelligence services of foreign powers or to natural and legal persons acting in the interest of foreign powers or their intelligence services. Close attention is devoted to activities aimed directly or indirectly against the political, economic or other interests of the Czech Republic. Furthermore, activities threatening the defense capabilities of the Czech Republic, the security of the country, its constitutional system and sovereignty also act as the principal focus of counterintelligence efforts. Defense against the above mentioned activities is an essential part of counterintelligence.
Intelligence services of foreign powers are mainly interested in information on domestic and foreign policies, economic policies, the development in politics and in information on the results of R & D. They aim to use this information to influence the stances of the Czech Republic to the benefit of foreign political and economic interests.
The processing and analysis of obtained intelligence shows that counterintelligence has two major functions:
- the informative function – legally stipulated addressees are informed about the activities, interests and intentions of foreign powers in the Czech Republic
- the preventive function – counterintelligence services suggest or adopt measures aimed at hindering or disrupting foreign intelligence operations in the Czech Republic.
The BIS as a counterintelligence service identifies activities undertaken by foreign powers and by natural or juridical persons (mainly intelligence services of foreign powers) acting in the interest of foreign powers in the Czech Republic. The BIS keeps track of these activities and gathers information about them.
The BIS fulfills both the informative and the preventive function of counterintelligence and aims to:
- avoid classified and sensitive information and device leaks to foreign powers;
- openly or discreetly hinder the activities of intelligence services of foreign powers;
- detect and disrupt operations extending the influence of foreign powers (disinformation, manipulation, deceit, propaganda, etc.).