Telecoms operators to reinforce communication on their foreign communications services

Published 21.11.2013

The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) has studied the effects of international intelligence activities on the information security of communications services offered to Finns. Telecoms operators reported that the security of services was not compromised by intelligence activities. However, in order to guarantee the free choice of communications service users, awareness-raising of users about the key features of the service is necessary.

The telecoms operators stated in their replies that their services are based on related regulation. They also reported that they only disclose information to authorities if the law so requires. Several countries' regulation can be applied to a service that is implemented abroad.

The survey revealed that more than a third of Finnish telecoms operators' communications services are based in Finland and provided by Finnish companies. Only Finnish legislation is applicable to these services. According to telecoms operators, international intelligence activities have not had any special impact on the confidentiality of communications.

The remainder of the telecoms operators implements their services completely or partly outside Finland. Depending on the applicable law, certain restrictions may concern the information security of services offered abroad. In order to ensure that users can trust communications services and that their basic rights are guaranteed, it is necessary to provide them with as comprehensive information as possible about the key security features of the service. According to the Act on the Protection of Privacy in Electronic Communications, telecoms operators must immediately inform subscribers and users of any special threat that is targeted, despite all efforts by telecoms operators, at the information security of the service, such as the confidentiality of communications.

It is important that communications service users identify the threats targeted at their own communication as well as the available means to protect its confidentiality. FICORA has published related guidelines for users .

Get acquainted with FICORA's summary on intelligence reports [pdf, 192 KB].

Further information:

Jarkko Saarimäki, Head of Security Supervision, tel. +358 295 390 576

Key words: Information security , Internet , Telephone , News

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