Ministry of Transport and Communications demands more public debate on efficiency and impact of online surveillance

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 14.1.2015 12.07
News item
Suomen laki (Photo: Tero Pajukallio)
Suomen laki (Photo: Tero Pajukallio)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has submitted a dissenting opinion to a report by the data acquisition working group of the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry cannot fully share the views expressed in the report, nor can it agree with all of the proposed further measures put forward in it. Some of the proposed measures violate citizens' fundamental rights and can weaken the possibilities of companies to do business.

The Ministry agrees with the working group on the need for intelligence gathering. What is of importance is that the activity must be well-founded and targeted. An example of this is the data system intelligence gathering put forward in the report, which would be carried out only in data systems located outside of Finland.

The Ministry does not support the implementation of intelligence gathering through online surveillance, as there are no possibilities to distinguish domestic and foreign data transfer from each other. Furthermore, online surveillance would not necessarily yield the desired information, owing to the development and increased use of encryption techniques.

"The online surveillance proposed by the working group is ineffective and oversized. In practice online surveillance is untargeted mass surveillance in which the confidentiality and data security of citizens' communications, the protection of privacy, and possible economic preconditions are weakened", says Minister of Education and Communications Krista Kiuru.