OTHER COUNTRIES

The Czech Republic

Materials presented in chronological order.

Streetly, Martin. "New Czech SIGINT Systems." Journal of Electronic Defense, Jan. 1999, 18.

"Czech export agent Omnipol has released details of two new signals-intelligence (SIGINT) systems produced by the Czech Republic's defense-electronic industry."

Harris, Francis, and Michael Smith. "MI6 Man Is Named by Czechs in Sacking Row." Telegraph (London), 3 Feb. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

On 2 February 1999, "MI6 was forced to consider withdrawing its man in Prague ... after renegade Czech security officers named him and disclosed that he was a homosexual living with another man." Christopher Hurran "was identified after members of the Czech security service, BIS, blamed him for their boss's sacking. Mr Hurran's name, sexual orientation and pictures of his house were broadcast by Czech television and carried in several newspapers."

Smith, Michael. "Fate of Iraqi Mole Led to Spy Clash." Telegraph (London), 4 Feb. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"The row that led to the naming of the MI6 head of station in Prague began with what should have been a major success story for British intelligence. MI6 had been running an agent in the heart of the Iraqi intelligence service, giving detailed information on Saddam Hussein's attempts to obtain nuclear, chemical and biological weapons technology.

"Jabir Salim, the 43-year-old head of Mukhabarrat operations in Eastern Europe, whose cover was as Iraqi consul in Prague, was an 'agent-in-place', an invaluable source for British intelligence. But just over a month ago, he was 'brought in from the cold' and, according to intelligence sources, is currently being debriefed at a safe house in the Home Counties.'"

Smith, Michael. "Spymasters Hit at Czech Ministers Over MI6 'Outing.'" Telegraph (London), 18 Feb. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

Oldrich Cerny, the former head of the Czech foreign intelligence service (UZSI), and Stanislav Devaty, his former counterpart at the Czech Security and Intelligence Office (BIS), "have hit out at the country's Social Democrat government over the 'outing' of the homosexual head of MI6 in Prague.... Both men pointed to the painstaking way in which they had developed close relationships with their British counterparts in the years since the fall of communism only to see their efforts destroyed by Prague's inability to keep secrets.

"The row broke earlier this month when a Czech television station broadcast the name, address and sexual orientation of Mr. Hurran.... Cerny regretted that so much of the press coverage focused on the fact that Mr. Hurran was the [British] service's first openly homosexual head of station.... Hurran is likely to be kept in place for the time being. MI6 insists that his work has not been seriously damaged.... But the former army officer has been in Prague for two years and would in any case be due a posting soon."

Williams, Kieran, and Dennis Deletant. Security Intelligence Services in New Democracies: The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. London: Palgrave, in association with the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London, 2001.

Wiant, Studies 46.4, finds that this work "is serious scholarship, rich in the theories of democratization and with a well-considered framework for comparative analysis of the progress that the new governments have made. The authors provide excellent, brief histories of the security services, and detail the unique circumstances that have characterized the development of each one." Overall, "legislative scrutiny remains relatively weak in all three countries.... At the present, the wide-open and spirited press, living off leaks from within the services, is the most effective watchdog over these organizations."

Born, Hans, and Marina Caparini, eds. Democratic Control of Intelligence Services: Containing Rogue Elephants. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.

According to Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), four Western (France, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and five former Soviet bloc (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) countries are discussed; there are also articles discussing "the fundamental principles of oversight." Although this work "looks closely at what has been and what needs to be done, it does not address the practical problem of the qualifications of those doing the oversight."

Richter, Jan. "Czech Intelligence: Half of Russia's Diplomats in the Czech Republic Are Spies." Czech Radio 7, Radio Prague, 22 Nov. 2007. [http://www.radio.cz]

According to the 2006 annual report by the Czech counterintelligence service, published on 21 November 2007, about half of the "60 Russian Federation diplomats based in the Czech Republic ... work for Russian intelligence services." The report "maintains that Russian diplomats who were expelled from other democratic countries are often sent to the Czech Republic.... Other favourite covers for collaborators with Russian intelligence include journalists and positions in Russian-owned businesses."

CTK. "Czech Civilian Intelligence To Be Reinforced by 46 New Employees." Ceskenoviny, 17 Mar. 2008. [http://www.ceskenoviny.cz]

On 17 March 2008, the Czech government approved the plan of Interior Minister Ivan Langer to reinforce the civilian intelligence service (UZSI) by adding seven new experts to the intelligence anti-terrorist section, and another 39 to the section dealing with energy, economic, and IT security.

Sweeney, Conor. "Russia Expels Two Czech Diplomats in Spy Row." Reuters, 18 Aug. 2009. [http://www.reuters.com]

Interfax news agency reported on 18 August 2009 that "Russia has ordered two Czech diplomats out of Russia.... The expulsion follows Czech media reports on [17 August 2009] that two Russians had been ordered out of Prague, including a deputy military attache."

Lefebvre, Stéphane. "The Czech Experience With Intelligence Reforms, 1993–2010." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 24, no. 4 (Winter 2011-2012): 692-710."

"Throughout most of its existence, the Czech intelligence community has been subjected to half-hearted, poorly thought out attempts at reform, coordination, and cooperation which have compounded the animosity that developed early on among the various intelligence services.... [A] lack of communication among the agencies involved in the fight against terrorism continues to be a problem."

Return to Czech Republic Table of Contents