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& #34; Special папка": ensuring privacy in Bolshevik parties (1918-1920th)



ustanavlivat ways of reproduction and distribution of documents. So, the resolution of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of December 7, 1922 offered by V.V. Kuybyshev defined an order of a statement and publication of circulars of the Central Committee. Circular documents of the Central Committee at first had to undergo discussion on specially created circular commission, and only then to be represented on Organizational bureau of TsK10.

Also paid special attention of the Central Committee to work with classified documents on places. At the end of 1925. The confidential department of the Central Committee defined an order of use of classified documents of gubkom of RCP(b) 11. The persons having access and receiving confidential materials of gubkom were personally responsible for their distribution and use if on it there was no special permission of a gubkom. Thus, was responsible for disclosure of the classified information not only party committee in general, but also - personally - the specific owner of the classified information.

In 1923. The administration of the Central Committee raised a question of storage of classified documents in departments of the Central Committee. Work on information security in own device was carried out. The politburo submitted a question of information security for the Plenum of the Central Committee. As a result of August 19, 1924. The plenum of the Central Committee approved "Rules of the address with secret documents" of the Central Committee of RCP(b) 12.

Due to strengthening of international tension and an internal political situation in the country in 1926-1927 in the office of the Central Committee measures for protection of rooms and an entrance to Confidential department of the Central Committee were strengthened. From workers of the office of the Central Committee the department could include only the staff of Confidential department and that not into all structural units. To all premises of Confidential department only the manager and assistant managers of Confidential department, the secretary of department, assistants to Secretaries of the Central Committee, the manager shifrbyuro, secretaries of the technical secretariat and Politbyuro13 had the right of an entrance.

In April, 1927 Stalin initiated a question of development of the most radical measures for providing the maximum konspirativnost in work and use of the Central Committee of confidential materials. On the basis of exchange of opinions in the Politburo the commission on preparation of the draft resolution on use confidential materialami14 was quickly created on April 7, 1927. The resolution of the Politburo "About Use of Confidential Materials" 15 became a result of its work.

In 1927 the order of consideration of questions at meetings of the supreme bodies of party in respect of bigger classification of information was changed. Carrying out the resolution of the Politburo, all questions of People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, IKKI, the Defense Ministry and OGPH passing through the Central Committee obeyed now, as a rule, at private meetings of the Politburo. The organizational bureau was entrusted maxi -

"SPECIAL FOLDER":

ENSURING PRIVACY IN BOLSHEVIK PARTIES (1918-1920th)

The acute fight of Bolsheviks for deduction of the power in Russia and construction of the Soviet statehood in the conditions of fierce Civil war made a problem of ensuring privacy of work of party institutions of one of the major. The top management of Bolsheviks paid attention to observance of the mode of privacy in the party device in connection with cases of leak of political, military, economic and other information out of limits of the Central Committee more than once. Questions of disclosure of the classified information were a subject of discussions at meetings of the supreme bodies of party. So, at a meeting of the Politburo Stalin's application that some data on meetings of the Central Committee, "though in very perverted look, reached in some way to enemies" on November 8, 1919 at which there were V.I. Lenin, I.V. Stalin, L.D. Trotsky, L.B. Kamenev, N.N. Krestinsky was considered. Such statement of question was timely: in the territory of "Sovietdom" the great number of agents of prospecting bodies of the anti-Bolshevist governments and white armies acted. One of them, A.A. Borman, worked in Moscow, transferring valuable data to command of Volunteer army. Using old contacts among "specialists", he got a job in central office of Narkomtorg-prom. As obliges he had to participate even in the meetings of Council of People's Commissars held by Lenin in Kremle1. Besides, the numerous underground anti-Bolshevist organizations actively worked. For example, the "Alphabet" organized by V.V. Shulgin had in 1918-1919 26 political centers and an extensive network of informers. Its Kiev center, "adhering to strict conspiracy, was engaged in intelligence activities", and his agents "held important posts in various Soviet administrative and military agencies, had access to strictly classified documents and skillfully sabotaged the policy of the Soviet power" 2.

Counteracting information leakage, the Central Committee took measures of organizational character. November 8, 1918. The politburo decided:

"a) To charge t. To Krestinsky and Stasova to survey an order of reproduction, storage in the Secretariat of the Central Committee and mailing by members of the Central Committee of minutes of meetings, especially the Politburo and to enter such order that with protocols there was familiarly minimum number of companions. To charge to comrade Kres-

tinsky to give the report on the taken measures in the next meeting of the Politburo.

b) To suggest all members of the Central Committee to store the protocols received by them carefully.

c) It is possible to state protocols of the Politburo more carefully and well.

d) Decisions on the most serious questions not to enter in the official protocol, and to companion Krestinsky to note them to itself for memory and personal execution" 3.

Apparently, in this case measures of preventive character for restriction of number of users and reduction of the data containing in protocols were taken.

Cheka, then GPU So was involved in investigation of the facts of information leakage, on March 29, 1921 on the Politburo A.M. Lezhava's statement for disclosure of the classified information obeyed. In this regard the decision was made: "Message of t. Lezhava to take into consideration, having suggested it to transfer all material with oral additions of t. To Dzerzhinsky, to whom to charge to investigate strictly this case. To submit the report in the Politburo" 4. At a meeting of the Politburo on December 7, 1922 Stalin once again brought up a question of publication of some, the data which are not subject to announcement. The speech in this case went about information on the State Planning Committee, on negligence and due to the lack of the concrete regulating documents published in pechati5.

The Bolshevist management and central office of party paid special attention to information security of the party coming first of all from the supreme bodies - the Politburo, Organizational bureau, the Secretariat of the Central Committee. Minutes of meetings of the Politburo, Organizational bureau, Secretariat were considered as the most important. Therefore treated ensuring their privacy most seriously. One of methods which was used for this purpose was that the Secretariat of the Central Committee tried to leave as little as possible written sources on any given question of the agenda of meetings. Lenin, for example, was an opponent of entering of all discussed issues in the minutes of the Politburo. In January, 1922 he wrote: "In view of the fact that we here in Moscow are surrounded by spies Mensheviks and polumenynevika, not to enter it (and similar) offers in minutes of the Politburo, and to write down them separately... neither, nor in encryptions not to mention directives of the Politburo in papers anywhere" 6.

For ensuring privacy many meetings of the Politburo, especially in the early twenties, were not made out in the form of the protocol at all. Even practice of the oral solution of questions extended. At the heart of the protocols were made out in a short not common form. In 1923 the decision was made that to write down in protocols of the Politburo only

decisions. Even usual protocols of the Politburo had a signature stamp "top secret". Since 1924 instead of statement of an essence of the made decision began to write the reference in confidential paragraphs of usual protocols: "See the special folder". An ego the formulation meant the highest security classification of party documents. Confidential minutes of private meetings were also postponed in "the special folder".

To avoid various intrigues, Lenin was against shorthand of meetings of the Politburo. Stalin often used them later in fight against the rivals. Since 1923 the shorthand of reports and conclusions began. A debate on questions was taken shorthand only according to the decision of the Politburo.

Under the resolution of Organizational bureau of TsKRKP (b) of November 30, 1922, party office-work was separated from Soviet and trade-union. They were recommended be not to conducted together, the foundation was thereby laid for the system of separate conducting party office-work, including confidential. The same year the Organizational bureau of the Central Committee adopted the resolution "About an Order of Storage of Confidential Resolutions of the Central Committee of RCP(b)" and approved the Instruction about an order of use of extracts from protocols and separate orders partkomov7. In addition to the accepted normative documents, the Central Committee took measures for strengthening of protection of premises of Sekretariata8 bureau.

Also documents reckoned with signature stamps of the highest degree of party privacy as the most classified documents of the Central Committee: "It is strictly confidential", "The special folder". Standard and legal documents on respect for privacy and work with classified documents of party were developed by in common Confidential department of the Central Committee and Special department to WHOLESALE (SPEKO), and then approved on the Politburo, Organizational bureau, the Secretariat of the Central Committee.

Measures for strengthening of responsibility for respect for privacy were taken. Strict measures were taken against her violators, up to an exception of party, the collectings guaranteeing, according to the Central Committee, privacy of decisions and excluding leak of important information. Concerning crimes on confidential affairs all staff of the institutions and organizations conducting confidential work was subject to responsibility extrajudicially. CKK was recommended to conduct resolute fight against the persons spreading the classified information and "any political rumors and gossips". The special department of OGPU was entrusted to watch observance by institutions and officials of rules of privacy of document flow, on it the general control of carrying out in life of decisions of the Politburo on questions sekretnosti9 was also imposed.

Taking measures against unauthorized distribution of party documents and information in general, the Politburo and Organizational bureau

malno to reduce the number of the Organizational bureaux which are present at meetings and the Secretariat of the Central Committee.

At last, in 1927 the Central Committee made the decision on strengthening of the mode of privacy in local party committees: it was necessary to regulate strictly activity of party committees and confidential bodies of Communist Party committees in ensuring privacy. On November 21 the Central Committee charged to Confidential department to develop and agree on the document defining an operating procedure with "secret" documents on places with Special department of OGPU. This work was continued till March, 1928. And on March 23 it was entrusted to S.V. Kosior to check previously prepared instruction and to report at a meeting of the Secretariat of the Central Committee. And in March, 1928. By organizational bureau and the Secretariat were approved fundamental for all Communist Party committees "Rule of conducting confidential office-work and treatment of secret materials in party committees" 16.

Fight against oppositionists of all colors, first of all Trotskyists, forced the Stalin Politburo to toughen the privacy mode. On the Politburo, and then on the Plenum of the Central Committee and CKK, the question was considered on April 23, 1929, and then the resolution "About Conspiracy" is accepted. In it it was said: "To establish special measures - up to an exception of the Central Committee and of party, able to guarantee privacy of decisions of the Central Committee and Politburo of the Central Committee and informing Trotskyists on affairs of the Central Committee and the Politburo excluding an opportunity". In this regard it was offered to members of the Central Committee and CKK "to carry out certainly" the resolution that "the people checked and surely communists" can only be the secretaries of members of the Central Committee and CKK receiving classified documents. To members of the Central Committee and CKK it was offered to oblige "to follow most strictly all the secretaries rules of privacy", and it is entrusted to Stalin "to make careful check of secretaries of members of the Central Committee and CKK and other companions receiving confidential materials". Resolution of May 9, 1929. The politburo obliged the Secretariat to take measures to the most strict performance of the resolution of the Plenum of the Central Committee and CKK "About Conspiracy" 17. Finally the resolution "About Conspiracy" was approved on May 16.

The resolution confirmed the 3-day term of return of protocols of the Politburo and recommended not to send in case of not return of the protocol to the specified term of the following protocol. Confirmed once again to steady execution the resolution of the Politburo of May 5, 1927. "About use of confidential materials".

In pursuance of the resolution "About Conspiracy", for the greatest ensuring privacy of document flow of the Central Committee, serious organizational and technical events were held. In particular, there was a face -

vidirovan institute of the Central Committees which are "entrusted on the 2nd category", that is receiving classified documents without the right of opening. The secretariat of the Central Committee recommended to all persons receiving documents through entrusted to receive and store classified documents personally and to return them or personally, or through specially allocated employee of Confidential department of the Central Committee. The confidential department of the Central Committee was in turn offered to simplify a return order as much as possible. Entrusted with the right of opening, storage and return of documents left only at members and candidates for members of the Politburo, members of Organizational bureau and Secretariat of the Central Committee, Presidium of CKK allocated for presence at meetings of the Politburo and Organizational bureau.

As well as all office of the Central Committee, confidential divisions were to some extent involved in inner-party fight, and disclosure of the classified information was very often blamed further of oppositionists, shown in the form of charges on trials.

The system of protection of a party secret was so created. At the developed party and state state system it became the uniform party and state rule. The party secret was in a broad sense perceived by party leadership and the party device as the state secret. Many confidential questions at first underwent discussion at the highest party level (but was and vice versa), being embodied then in joint party and state decisions. But, proceeding from specifics of the party device differing from state in narrow sense it is possible to speak about the independent party system of information security with the confidential bodies, confidential functions, the administrative and regulatory base, and separate, since 1922, the general and confidential office-work. In many respects these systems duplicated each other.

Passed through the supreme party bodies and it was claimed more and more or less significant that it was connected with protection of a party and state secret in scales of the whole country. Special attention was paid to the facts of infiltration of the classified information from party and Soviet bodies, and in wartime - to messages from fronts about opening of information of military, foreign policy and diplomatic character. In partorgana organizational and technical measures for strengthening of the mode of privacy, toughening of control and restriction of number of the persons having access to the classified information were taken. For the solution of this task forces not only the party device, but also retaliatory bodies on which the general control of observance of the mode of privacy and protection of a party and state secret was imposed were used.

By the beginning of the 1930th in party bodies it developed and further the steady system of ensuring privacy which was formed functioned and worked together with the state system of information security in general.

But despite all taken measures, there was an information leakage, generally by publication of documents and disclosure of the classified information. Rules and instructions for work with classified documents were not always followed. Such cases especially often occurred in the early twenties when the low education level of employees party both government and lack of the general culture of work with documents affected. All this became a subject of the most fixed discussion in the supreme party bodies. Strangely enough, first punishments for violation of the rules of privacy and disclosure of the classified information were quite lenient. Only in special cases the guilty persons were punished strictly.

1 See: A.A. Borman. Moscow-1918. (From notes of the secret agent in the Kremlin)//the Russian past. 1991. No. 1. Page 115-149.
2 V.G. Bortnevsky. Investigation and counterintelligence of the White South (1917-1920)//New sentry. 1995. No. 3. Page 51.
3 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 3. 37. L.1-2.
4 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 3. 143. L. 1.
5 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 3. 329. L. 8.
6 Tsit. on: Green M.V. Apparat of the Central Committee of the RCP(b)-All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks): Censorship and historical science in the 20th years. Nizhny Novgorod, 2000. Page 321.
7 RGASPI. F.17. Op. 84. 697. L. 334.
8 RGASPI. F.17. Op. 84. 696. L. 16-17.
9 RGASPI. F.17. Op. 3. 633. L. 11-16.
10 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 112. 395. L. 5.
11 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 85. 615. L. 136ob.
12 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 85. 540. L. 172-174.
13 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 85. 539. L. 29, 54.
14 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 3. 629. L. 1.
15 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 162. 4. L. 123.
16 RGASPI. T. 17. Op. 113. 608. L. 99-113.
17 Tsit. on: The Stalin Politburo in the 30th years: Collection of documents. M, 1995.

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John Hardy
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