Most of the records have been made accessible pursuant to Act No. 499/2004 Coll., on archival science and record services and on the amendments to some acts which was adopted on 30 June 2004 and entered into effect as of 1 January 2005. It is a very liberal law which transfers the responsibility for the publication of information contained in the archival records to the researcher and which, but for a few exceptions, allows the study of documents without anonymisation, because selected documents created before 1990 are not subject to the Act on protection of personal data (currently, the constitutionality of this norm is being verified by the Constitutional court of the Czech Republic). Prior to the entry into force of Act No. 499/2004 Coll., the agent, operative and personnel files (personal files of staff members of the Ministry of interior) were made accessible pursuant to Act No. 140/1996 Coll., in the wording of Act No. 107/2002 Coll. on the access to records created by the activity of the State security. In practice this translated into massive anonymisation of personal data, often badly legible copies of documents and long waiting times for obtaining the documents. Unfortunately, these documents which were made accessible to researchers prior to 1 January 2005 based on then valid legislation continue to be presented to researchers only in digital copies with some of the information anonymised. However, this pertains only to documents younger than 30 years and older materials from previous times can be studied by researchers without anonymisation. The procedure for requesting access to records is available in English only on the old website of the Security Services Archive. For a better idea we recommend to visit the Resources page.
Institutions in charge of the archival records
The Security Services Archive (ABS) was created based on Act No. 181/2007 Coll., on the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and the Security Services Archive, and on amendments to some acts. It is an administrative institution, being directly controlled by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and in the specialised activity in archival science and record services by the Ministry of interior of the Czech Republic. The archive administers and provides access to documents created by the activity of the security forces and by the Communist party of Czechoslovakia and the organisations of the National front working within these forces. The total holdings of the archive comprise 17, 907.7 running metres (rm). Currently, the records are subdivided into more than 550 archival funds and collections from the time of non-freedom and from the time of Communist totalitarian power (see the Guide to the Collections of the ABS).