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Czechs may see Communist secret service archives data online

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Prague, March 9 (CTK) – The public will be able to see the data of the Archive of Security Bodies (ABS) online because the documents on the work of the Communist StB secret service and other security bodies will be available online, the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR) said yesterday.
The search system will be tested till the end of this summer, the USTR said.
The remote access will also be guided by some rules and registration.
In the nearest future, the system will offer roughly 300,000 scanned documents, to which some of the total “17 kilometres of archived data” will be added, the USTR said.
The USTR wants to uncover the details describing the remote access at a press conference on Thursday.
This is a step for which the expert public was waiting for years, the USTR said.
“The remote access naturally does not make available the whole ABS since this would be impossible,” USTR spokesman Pavel Ryjacek has told CTK.
“The archive is too big. Only a fraction will be remotely accessible, but this still means 300,000 scanned documents, which is quite a lot for browsing,” Ryjacek said.
“These are selected collections that are most interesting and most demanded by the public,” Ryjacek said.
The ABS staff have a registry showing who demands what data. The files were made available also taking thisinto account .
Access will be open to two parts of the collection called the Secretariat of the Federal Interior Ministry. The collection includes the minutes from the meetings of the security bodies of the Interior Ministry and intelligence and counter-intelligence reports, ABD director Svetlana Ptacnikova has said.
The public will also be able to see online the collections of the State Security Command and the StB Cabinet describing the security measures adopted after the February 1948 Communist coup and the way the security bodies behaved after the death of Communist President Klement Gottwald in 1953.
Along with a large quantity of text, the public will be able to see various photographs such as those documenting the construction of the Berlin Wall.
However, not everyone with the Internet will be able to see the collections immediately, Ryjacek said.
“At the moment sensitive materials are being accessed, they cannot be available anonymously because the data are subjected to the protection of personal data,” he added.
This means that an applicant for remote access will have to at least once visit the archives in Prague or Brno, to show the identity card and to be registered.
This will be followed by the gaining of the access codes. The archive must register all those interested in the data.

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