Supo serves researchers

Legal conditions, legislation relating to disclosure of information, and relevance of the request are considered in granting research permits.

 Illustration - a young woman sitting by a desk.

Do you wish to use Supo’s documents as a source for your research?

The period of secrecy for Supo’s documents is 60 years. You may apply for a research permit to access Supo’s archives if you wish to use Supo’s documents as sources for the purpose of 

  • scientific research,
  • statistical compilations, or
  • preparation of official plans or studies.

Supo grants research permits mainly for PhD-level scientific research. Research permits are not granted for genealogical research or for documents that are less than 25 years old. 

Legal conditions, legislation relating to disclosure of information, and relevance of the request are considered in granting research permits. The permits are always granted for a fixed term and may also be cancelled on justifiable grounds. 

How to apply for a research permit

If you wish to apply for a research permit, you must submit to Supo a request to access data for scientific research purposes. You will receive an application form by contacting Supo’s registry. 

Always attach a research plan and a publication plan to your application.

The research plan must contain

  • the exact topic of the research project
  • background
  • objectives
  • research methods
  • data requested from Supo with justifications
  • scheduled duration

Specify the requested data as precisely as possible and justify the relevance of your request with the purpose and objectives of the study. Clarify in your application how you will organise data protection. 

If your research will be published e.g. as a science book or other publication, include the publishing contract in your application. 

If you are preparing a thesis, include a recommendation letter from your thesis supervisor in your application. 

If your research topic has been reviewed by a research ethics committee, include the review in your application. A report on the processing of personal data in line with the Data Protection Act must be included in your application if you are collecting personal data for your study.  

You may also include other appendices in your application such as other recommendations, permissions to access other archives, a data management plan, or your own CV.

Submit the signed application to Supo’s registry

Send the signed application and appendices to Supo to the following address: Finnish Security and Intelligence Service, PO Box 151, 00121 HELSINKI, or [email protected] 

If you are going to write articles or give interviews about your research topic, agree on them separately with Supo.

Research work is carried out on Supo’s premises

Once you have received your research permit, you must study the material on Supo’s premises by using the equipment provided by Supo. Supo cannot provide you with copies of the documents. 
You will receive more detailed practical instructions appended to your research permit decision.

Supo’s old documents are stored in the National Archives

The documents of Supo’s predecessors (National Investigative Police, State Police I and II) have been transferred to the National Archives, where they are accessible to researchers.

Supo transfers its documents to the National Archives after the 60-year period of secrecy has passed.

If you are interested in these documents, please contact the National Archives directly.