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A dictionary of terms and detailed explanations regarding the functioning of state security organizations facilitates the interpretation of published data.

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Obserwacja (Observation, surveillance) covert tracking of persons or observation of objects (primarily embassies, consulates, hotels, flats of persons under surveillance, etc.) (so-called object observation). Each person or object under observation was given a cryptonym and a separate reference number by the "B" division unit.


Oficer na etacie niejawnym (Undercover officer) a Security Service (SB) operative officer formally employed by another institution in a position not officially related to the SB. An undercover officer's SB service records were classified. Usually, such officers were officially employed by diplomatic missions either at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in the case of officers of Department I of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs) or other "cover institutions" (Ministry of Foreign Trade, Polonia Association for Liaison with Polish Communities Abroad, etc.) and the Office for Religious Affairs (officers of the Department IV of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs). Undercover officers were expected to gather information or perform "undercover" activities without revealing their actual employer (this did not apply to cooperation with agents and other categories of collaborators).


Oficer prowadzący (Case officer) a Security Service (SB) operative who personally cooperated with secret collaborators or other categories of SB informers ("handling collaborators", personal information sources). The case officer was responsible for conducting meetings with the collaborator, collecting reports, assigning them tasks and rewarding, and ensuring that meetings with the collaborator were held in secret and that the collaboration remained a secret within the SB unit. It was the case officer's responsibility to deal with the collaboration registration and documentation – they would hand over the documents obtained concerning the collaborator, including letter of obligation to collaboration and payment receipts, to the superior for inclusion in the collaborator's personal dossier; they would record the reports in the service dossier and make copies and extracts of them, sent through their superior to other SB operative officers for inclusion in the relevant operative case files, personal dossiers of other collaborators, etc.; or draw up operative plans for the use of the collaborator, etc. Part of the case officer's duties could be delegated to a ‘resident’ (a liaison collaborator). There was also the term "officer handling the [operative] case". It denoted a similar range of duties to the collaborator’s handling officer, i.e. handling observation registration procedure and documentation by collecting reports and other documents on operative activities undertaken in the course of the case. In the case of more complex operative cases involving more officers, the officer in charge of the whole case and the officers responsible for carrying out specific tasks were indicted in the relevant operative plan. The officers handling (co-handling) operative cases were generally at the same time the handling officers of the secret collaborators (and informers of other categories) involved in the surveillance of the persons concerned by these cases.


Osoba zaufana (Trusted person) (OZ) 1. [Security Service (SB)] a category of cooperation with the SB, consisting in providing assistance to the "B" (surveillance), "W" (correspondence invigilation) and "T" (operative technology, i.e. wiretapping, technical surveillance, etc.) SB divisions’ units. OZs were recruited and registered based on rules applicable to secret collaborators. However, because they were not themselves personal information sources (OZI), strictly speaking, they only had a personnel dossier set up for them. An OZ was usually an employee of a Polish Post, Telegraph and Telephone (PPTiT) office who, due to access to postal, telephone and communications facilities, was able to assist in obtaining information, intercepting correspondence and setting up wiretaps without betraying SB involvement. OZs could also be employees of hotels, etc., establishments that enabled SB officers of the "B" division units to carry out surveillance; another name used was trusted employee (pracownik zaufany, PZ). 2. Internal Military Service (WSW)] – a category of cooperation with the WSW, equivalent to operative, citizen or confidential contact, etc., in SB parlance. The OZs were not registered, the relations of the OZs with the WSW were not formalized with written declarations (letter of obligation to cooperate), nor were separate files set for the OZs. Still, their reports were included in the relevant operative examination dossiers, object dossiers and issue dossiers.

SEE ALSO Instrukcja WSW 1984, "B", pion, "T", pion | "T" division, "W", Technika operacyjna, środki | Operative technology measures, Podsłuch | Wiretap, Podsłuch pokojowy (PP) | Room wiretapping, Podsłuch telefoniczny (PT) | Telephone wiretapping, Podgląd i dokumentacja fotograficzna (podgląd dokumentowany fotograficznie, PDF) | photographically documented surveillance, Tajny współpracownik (TW), Osobowe źródło informacji (OZI) | Personal information source, Teczka personalna TW | TW personal dossier, Kontakt operacyjny (KO) | Operative contact, Kontakt poufny (KP) | Confidential contact, Teczka rozpracowania operacyjnego Departamentu I MSW | Operative case-file of the Department I of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, Teczka obiektowa | Object dossier, Teczka zagadnieniowa | Theme dossier, Instrukcja WSW 1987,


Osobowe źródło informacji (Personal information source) (OZI) 1. [Security Service (SB)] a collective term for the various categories of cooperation or assistance provided to the SB. The term OZI included such categories as the secret collaborator (TW), contact premises (LK) holder, official contact (KS), operative contact (KO) and consultants. In the operative and documentation practice of the SB of the 1970s and 1980s, the term OZI appears as a general category, encompassing all categories of persons cooperating with SB units, as opposed to material information sources (rzeczowe źródła informacji, RZI). 2. [Internal Military Service (WSW)] a general term for the various categories of cooperation with the WSW. OZIs included secret collaborators (tajny współpracownik, TW) of the WSW, unofficial employees (nieoficjalny pracownik, NP) of the WSW and trusted persons (osoba zaufana, OZ) of the WSW.