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New powers of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO)

Publication date 31.5.2019 9.00 | Published in English on 13.10.2020 at 16.04
Press release

The new intelligence legislation enters into force on 1 June 2019.

The new powers have a significant effect on SUPO’s activity. The aim of the reform is to provide SUPO with increased capacities to detect and prevent undertakings posing a threat to national security and to provide the national leadership with higher quality information faster than before.

When the new legislation enters into force, SUPO obtains the possibility of conducting network traffic intelligence and using new kinds of intelligence methods both in Finland and abroad. SUPO starts using the new powers as soon as the new legislation takes effect but it will take time before creating full operational capability. 

SUPO will be further developed by training the personnel and recruiting new experts. Furthermore, the organisational structure and part of the working methods are improved.

SUPO’s new organisation is divided into nine departments. Three of them (Cabinet, Intelligence and Digital Services) are completely new. The other departments include Internal Services, Counter Terrorism, Counter Intelligence, Regions, Vetting and Collection.

The new legislation also brings about changes to the supervision of SUPO. A new Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman starts supervising SUPO’s activities. At the same time, SUPO’s own internal legality control is reinforced. The Intelligence Oversight Committee of the Parliament, for its part, starts conducting parliamentary oversight. Besides this, SUPO is supervised by the Ministry of the Interior.