Supervisors: prof. Tõnu-Andrus Tannberg, dots. Ago Pajur. Opponent: Bradley Woodworth, Ph.D. (University of New Haven).
Secrets and secrecy have always provided food for human fantasy. Both words are common in the titles of books, although, usually used without context and (ab)using the words in the interests of commercial success. However, in some cases the classification term is misused due to lack of knowledge. This thesis uses interwar Estonia as its case study in order to study the reasons for classification and its practice covering the whole specter of measures applied. It aims to demystify the field at least to some extent. The thesis is mainly based on archival material available in Estonia. Due to the lack of a prior theoretical framework, one is constructed using the concept of intelligence cycle.
The protection of classified information may be dealt with by separating the measures into four fields: Legal protection is basis for all the other fields as well. It has to define what information has to be classified and how it should be protected, what is punishable and which are the punishments, and what are the restrictions for publication of information (i.e. censorship). Facility security (or physical protection) means that rooms where classified information is processed have to be inaccessible for unauthorized personnel and safes have to be available for storing secret documents. It is a more complex issue in the case of fortifications that have huge dimensions but were classified according to law of the period - that makes camouflage one of the subjects of facility security. Vetting procedures and training have to prevent unreliable people from getting access to classified information and remind the cleared personnel of the importance of keeping secrets. Vetting is closely connected to counterintelligence and has to prevent hostile espionage. Communication security has to protect information while it is transmitted or moved from one place to another, whatever mode of communication is used (mail, courier, phone, telegraph, radio). It contains upgrading communication networks to be more secure and use of cryptology. Communication security has to counter foreign signals intelligence.
Based on theory and published contemporary Soviet intelligence reports, the thesis also deals with the problem of defining the border between public and secret during the period and the efficiency of protection.