The Domestic Security Department （国内安全保护支队）is a branch of the police force within the Ministry of Public Security, specializing in collecting intelligence, infiltrating and dealing with political dissidents, human rights activists, petitioners, religious groups as well as “subversive” activities in the cultural, educational and economics domains. It is a massive, secretive and omnipotent security apparatus within the giant police machine of the PRC.
The following excerpts are from China’s interactive knowledge site Baidubaike , translated by CDT:
The goal of domestic security protection is to strengthen the ruling position of the Chinese Communist Party, protect the regime of the People’s Democratic Dictatorship and socialist system, ensure the smooth carrying out of the socialist modernization construction.
1, People who have social influence – they do not need to be social celebrities, but within China, they have broad social networks or become spokespeople of a group with common experience.
2, People who have their own distinct views in the economic, cultural and political domain, they possess different views from the authorities or “main melody” and insist on expressing their views.
3, Possibly related to rights protection – protecting economic rights, such as apartment owners of urban residential blocks or peasants who lost their land; protecting political rights, such as journalists, writers who insist on freedom of the press or freedom of expression, or house church members who maintain their beliefs, or Tibetan Buddhists who support the Dalai Lama.
And the following excerpt is from Chinese wikipedia, which is partially blocked by the Great Firewall:
Within the Domestic Security Department, the general components are office; information, intelligence and external liasion branch; social investigation and local work-directing branch; ethnic and religious investigation branch; anti-subversive and sabotage investigation branch; university, cultural and economic domain domestic security protection work-directing branch; domestic security protection case investigation branch; and anti-cult investigation branch.
The following internal document, a paper written by a local Domestic Security Officer from Shaoxing city, Zhejiang Province, was leaked into Chinese cyberspace recently, and reveals many details about how this secretive police force works day-to day at the local level to control Chinese society. The original passage is excerpted from a book entitled Collected Essays on Domestic Security that is circulated internally within the Domestic Security Department (DSD). CDT translated the selected text here; thanks to the translator who wishes to remain anonymous.
Internal Document of the Domestic Security Department of the Public Security: Follow the Path of Staying Close to the Masses; Strengthen the Foundation of the Domestic Security Department
These last several years, the DSD system in our city has made it its number one priority to protect social and political stability. [The DSD system has] used “the experience at Fengqiao,”* which gave rise to the DSD’s work, as a powerful weapon to further the work of the DSD, persisted in its unmoving commitment of following the path of working with the masses, continued to strengthen the foundation of the DSD, powerfully promoted the healthy development of the DSD’s work, and effectively ensured the social and political stability of the city.
I. Using the “Four Uniteds” to clarify the direction of working with the masses.
[We have striven to] use “the experience at Fengqiao” to organically integrate the four aims of grasping the actual situation, understanding development, understanding discipline, and accomplishing work goals. [We have striven to] locate the DSD work’s focus, difficulties, and points of integration so as to clarify the direction of the DSD’s foundational work of following the path of staying close to the masses.
A. Become united in spirit; clarify the direction of the work (omitted)
B. Become united in actual reality; clarify the focus of the work (omitted)
C. Become united in discipline; clarify the direction of development (omitted)
D. Become united in work goals; clarify work protocols (omitted)
（一） 结合精神实质，明确工作方向 (略)
（二） 结合现实形势，明确工作重点 (略)
（三） 结合发展规律，明确发展走向 (略)
（四） 结合工作目标，明确工作步骤 (略)
II. Use the “Five Reliances” to create a mechanism for working with the masses
It has consistently been the DSD’s utmost priority to establish mechanisms to work with the masses, and to continually perfect these mechanisms through examination and through guidance. After several years of exploration and experience our city has basically developed a comprehensive and thorough scheme implemented in cities, counties and townships to correlate the work of the DSD with the masses.
A. Rely on the Party Committee and Government; perfect the leadership mechanisms
We proactively acted as intermediaries with the Party Committee and Government and actively sought their recognition and support. We established and perfected a mechanism called “Three Groups, Three Meetings, Three Reports.”
(1) The “three groups” ensure organization between the work of the DSD and the work of ensuring social stability. The first group is the Party Committee and Government head leadership council. The Public Security Bureau branch leaders participate in the work of preserving social stability within the region. The next set of groups is the various specialized small leadership groups attended by those responsible within the DSD and organized by the top Party and government branch leadership. The final group conducts meetings involving the main leaders of the Party committee and government. Those responsible within the DSD participate in small groups that focus on preventing large mass incidents and punishing and trying those involved.
一是以“三组”为形式，确定国保工作和社会稳定工 作的组织体制。首先是建立党委政府主要领导挂帅，公安分管领导参加的维稳工作领导小组组织，协调区域内的国保维稳工作；其次是建立由党委政府分管领导牵 头，国保部门负责人参加的各种专门工作领导小组；再次是党委政府主要领导牵头，国保部门负责人参加的重大群体性事件防范和处置领导小组，开展对重大群体性 事件的预防，研判和处置指挥工作。
(2) The “three meetings” refer to regularly scheduled domestic security report meetings, serious incident analysis meetings, and specialized work correlation meetings. These meetings ensure the timely communication of intelligence information and the correlation of command mechanisms. They also aid in ensuring the Party committee government leadership’s complete control over the direction and content of the DSD’s work. This in turn helps the Party committee government leadership understand and support the DSD’s actual work.
(3) The three reports refer to a system of reporting in which the head of the Public Security Bureau regularly reports to the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress on the periodic work of the DSD and the Government Stability Preservation Leading Group Office, a system of reporting in which DSD intelligence information is carried through executive channels, and a specialized system of reporting in which in specified circumstances, the DSD will use special channels to report directly to major leaders within the Party committee and government. In addition, in 2004, the municipal Party Secretary instructed DSD departments that certain specific intelligence information should be carried directly to him/her through specified confidential channels.
三是实行“三报”制度，即公安局长定期向常委会报告阶段性国保工作和 维稳工作制度，通过行政渠道的国保情报信息例报制度和特定情况下由国保部门通过特殊途径直接送达党委政府主要领导的专报制度。2004年，市委书记还指示 国保部门，对一些专门内容的情报信息可以通过特定的机要渠道直接送达其本人。
* “The experience at Fengqiao” is a term coined in 1963 when Mao Zedong visited Zhuji City in Zhejiang province. Mao praised the local leaders for their ability to rely on the masses, diffuse contradictions, safeguard stability and ensure that “minor problems can be settled without going out of the village, major problems can be resolved without going out of the town and conflicts are not passed on to the leadership.”
(Image source: hedong.cn: DSD officers of Hedong region, Linyi City, Shandong Province.)