Fictitious examples of the application of intelligence legislation

The examples below are fictitious but they help to illustrate the Finnish Security Intelligence Service’s field of activity and the possible application of the new civilian intelligence legislation.

"Two persons who have been smuggled into the country are members of a terrorist cell that is planning to carry out an attack in another EU country. Their identities are not known to the authorities."

The likelihood of a terrorist attack has increased significantly, and therefore there is an imminent threat to national security. Risks include a terrorist act in Finland or elsewhere in Europe, foreign policy consequences resulting from the perpetrators entering via our country and, in the event of an attack, increased tension between population groups in Finland.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service wants to establish the identity of the persons who have arrived in the country, their contact persons in Finland and abroad, and the tasks assigned to them.

The identities of these two persons are not known, and the operations are being led from abroad. In this case, network traffic intelligence can be used to identify communications transmitted to or from Finland, such as call data, in which the other parties are the leaders of the terrorist organisation abroad. This makes it possible to identify telephone subscriptions used in Finland and determine who their users are. Foreign intelligence enables the gathering of data from the persons' previous countries of residence concerning the organisation’s goals, the identity of the perpetrators and the methods they use.

"The leaders of states X and Y have ordered their intelligence services to step up cyber espionage targeted at the public authorities’ information systems in EU countries. States X and Y are investing very large sums of money in developing their cyber-attack capabilities."

The threat of cyber espionage against the State of Finland has increased. If a foreign state were to gain access to secret information, it would endanger national security. Risks could include the exploitation of secret information against Finland’s foreign, security and trade policy interests, and international consequences that would arise from Finland’s failure to protect classified information disclosed by its international partners, such as the EU.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service constantly monitors whether cyber espionage is being conducted against Finnish information systems: Have actors been able to access the systems despite the protections in place? How long has the espionage been going on and what information has been received? It is also important to find out who is behind this and what strategic intentions they seek to promote.

The perpetrators are unknown and presumably based abroad, so information gathering cannot be targeted at any identified persons. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service has, however, obtained information on the servers used by the perpetrators from its international partners. Network traffic intelligence enables the authorities to identify data communications to and from Finland through the proxy servers that the foreign states are using for their cyber espionage. This helps to determine the businesses and authorities that have been the targets of cyber espionage, and enables us to work to prevent harm to them and improve their protection.

"It is known that a foreign state is trying to establish a network of ‘illegals’ in Finland. The aim of the illegals, i.e. intelligence officers who have infiltrated in society using false identities, is to obtain secret information and influence foreign and security policy decision-making in Finland."

Efforts are being made to inappropriately influence the State of Finland. There is a risk that secret information critical to society will be revealed to a foreign state and that the foreign state will also use this information to promote its own interests and jeopardise the interests of Finland.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service wants to determine who the members of the network are, who is leading them and how. It is also important to know what their goals are.

The identities of the targets are not known and the operations are being led from abroad. Network traffic intelligence can be used to monitoring such communications to and from Finland that are crucial to the threat. This makes it possible to identify the members of the network and, with the help of other intelligence gathering methods, their affiliations.

"It has been observed that systematic and massive attempts to influence public opinion in Finland are being undertaken and led from abroad on social media and discussion forums on the internet."

As there will be elections in Finland soon, it is suspected that influencing through information will be used to try to cause confusion, increase confrontation and influence the outcome of the elections.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service investigates whether this influence campaign is being run by a foreign state that wishes to undermine Finnish democracy. In addition, it will examine what the ultimate goal of these actions is.

"Recently, foreign actors have been systematically purchasing transport and handling companies that are important for Finland’s international trade. According to information received from international partners, a criminal organisation operating in a foreign state may be behind the buyers, who are registered in tax havens. The criminal organisation is known to have close ties to the public officials and leaders of the state in question."

There is a risk that Finnish exports and imports will be paralysed during a possible crisis and there will be a shortage of basic commodities.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service will investigate whether the corporate acquisitions are linked to each other and whether a criminal organisation working on behalf of a foreign state is behind these acquisitions. In addition, the Finnish Security Intelligence Service will attempt to find out what the foreign state is trying to achieve through these shell company activities. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service will inform the state leadership of the matter in order to safeguard functions vital to society and the security of supply.