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National security has improved along with legislation on intelligence

Ministry of DefenceMinistry of JusticeMinistry of the Interior
Publication date 16.12.2021 14.49
Press release 162/2021

Finland’s national security has improved with the legislation on intelligence. Information gathering on threats to national security and national defence has become more effective, too, since the new intelligence powers entered into force. This is stated in a recent report on intelligence legislation, which was adopted at the government plenary session on 16 December.

“Finland’s security environment has been constantly changing since the adoption of intelligence legislation. We will continue to prepare for new and multi-directional threats by means of up-to-date legislation that takes into account the constitutional preconditions and conditions,” says Petri Knape, Director of the Unit for national Security at the Ministry of the Interior.

Intelligence gathering seeks information on factors and phenomena threatening Finland’s national security

Intelligence is civilian intelligence carried out by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service and military intelligence carried out by the Finnish Defence Forces’ intelligence authorities, the Defence Command and the Finnish Defence Forces’ Intelligence Agency. It is used to obtain information to protect Finland’s national security and to support the decision-making of the state leadership, among other things.

The report examines the functioning, efficiency and effectiveness of civilian and military intelligence legislation. It also discusses development needs, implementation of legal protection and other relevant issues. 

The intelligence legislation entered into force on 1 June 2019. The main objective of the legislation is to protect national security while taking into account the requirements arising from both the Constitution and international obligations binding on Finland. 

Intelligence legislation is constantly being assessed and developed

In order to ensure the safety of society and fundamental and human rights, it is important to implement the policies of earlier Government reports on intelligence activities and to ensure that legislation is up-to-date. The legal basis must be developed to take into account changes in the operating environment that cannot be foreseen, and to ensure that legal protection is implemented and intelligence oversight is up-to-date. Strategic steering and supervision should be developed and timely flow of information should be ensured for the state leadership and authorities. 

The report implements the entry in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Marin according to which the Government will submit a comprehensive report on intelligence legislation by the end of 2021.

Inquiries:

Petri Knape, Director of the National Security Unit, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 235, [email protected]
Hanna Nordström, Director of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 600, [email protected] 
Veli-Pekka Hautamäki, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 295 150 292, 
[email protected]