Procedure for registration and disclosure

The basis for registration is a personal confession submitted to the Estonian Internal Security Service (which was done by 1153 persons) within one year after the entry into force of the Act (28 March 1995 until 1 April 1996) as well as the materials and evidence regarding the service and cooperation, which can be submitted by anybody. Their verification and burden of proof lies with the Internal Security Service.

The practical procedure for disclosure is as follows: the person is summoned to the Internal Security Service where he/she will be given the text subject to disclosure in the Appendix to the State Gazette (RTL) as a notice of the Estonian Internal Security Service which includes the person's name, date and place of birth, employment at the time of the disclosure and the name of the organisation where the person served in or cooperated with and in which office he/she was in service. It is also written on the notice that the person has the right provided by law to have access to the documents forming the basis of his/her disclosure and to contest the information contained in the notice in a written application submitted to the Estonian Internal Security Service or in court within one month after the receipt of the notice. If needed, the person will be questioned and the statements recorded. If the person did not contest the notice, the Director General of the Internal Security Service will sign the corresponding announcement which will be subsequently published in RTL. Collecting information and preparing for disclosure is taking place on a continuous basis but announcements have been published in RTL about once a year, as it is expedient that the text subject to disclosure will be made accessible to the persons as simultaneously as possible. It enables the subsequent simultaneous processing and disclosure of their data in RTL.

The names of the first persons disclosed were published in RTL on 30 January 1997 and since that time until now there have been 13 disclosures altogether with 647 persons who had served in the intelligence or counterintelligence services of the former security organisations or military forces of the Union of SSR and the Estonian SSR:

Of the 647 persons disclosed there are 501 men or 77% and 146 women or 23%. The youngest person disclosed was born in 1972 and the oldest in 1911. The average length of service of the disclosed persons in the organisations is 14 years, two persons having served less than a year and one person as long as 46 years.

The time of entry into service remains between the years 1938 (one person) and 1991 (also one person). It is interesting to note that 60% of the persons disclosed so far were connected with the security organisations until the last moments of their existence in 1991/1992 resulting from the disintegration of the USSR.

In regard to the complaint filed by two former officials of the ESSR RJK, the Chancellor of Justice conducted legislative proceeding of the Act in 2005 and ascertained that the purpose of the Act is lawful, the restriction of fundamental rights of persons upon disclosure is justified and in compliance with the constitution. His analysis revealed that with regard to maintaining national security there is no alternative to such disclosure which would restrict an individual's rights and freedoms less and nonetheless with the same degree of efficiency because the oath of conscience is no longer valid and security clearance of additional offices would bring about a severe infringement of an individual's fundamental rights. The possibility of a personal confession and consequences of failing to do so (disclosure) were provided unambiguously by the Act, the issue was addressed in the media and people were called upon to make confessions, a year was sufficient both for the confession and avoiding  public disclosure later. The Act also provides sufficient mechanism for avoiding unfounded disclosure (prior to disclosure a person is notified of it and of his/her right to contest the disclosure - homepage of the Chancellor of Justice)

The basis for registration and disclosure can also be written applications of persons together with evidence concerning the service and cooperation of other persons and (archival) documents. All documents related to the activities of agencies and operational work were taken from Estonia to Russia at the end of the 1980s. In March 1994 "Procedure for Collection, Registration, Preservation and Exploitation of Materials of Security and Intelligence Organisations of Other States Which Operated in Estonia Act" entered into force which obliged persons to transfer the materials of security and intelligence organisations of other states which had operated here to the National Archives of Estonia for the purpose of their preservation - anyone into whose possession such materials come, is obliged to immediately notify the State Chancellery thereof and transfer the materials into the archives designated by the latter.