Minister Viitanen: Internationally binding rules for data protection

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 10.6.2013 15.11
News item

According to Finland's Minister of Housing and Communications Pia Viitanen, the alleged incidents of Internet spying practiced by the United States intelligence authorities are an international problem in which matters of privacy and national security are at odds. - International cooperation and discussion on rules are needed to resolve the situation, Ms Viitanen said.

- I support the initiative by European data protection authorities to investigate the matter together with the European Commission. It is important to establish in more detail what type of surveillance was in question and how it affected the data protection of citizens.

- It is problematic that legislation other than Finland's own must often be applied to communications services provided in Finland. These laws are not always as comprehensive with regard to data protection of citizens as those we have in place in Finland.

According to Finland's Constitution, opening any confidential message without justification is a criminal act; be it an email, text message, letter or phone call.