Information Society Services
Data Security

Information Society Services

A government bill for the protection of information society services that will also amend certain communications laws will soon be introduced to Parliament.

The aim of the bill is to:

  • propose legislation concerning devices and systems used to obtain access to conditional access services;

  • incorporate the European Union Conditional Access Directive more fully into Finnish law; and

  • increase public confidence in electronic commerce by strengthening the legal protection afforded to television and radio broadcasting services and certain remote-access information society services.

The new law would cover satellite and cable broadcasting, digital television and radio broadcasting, and various on-line services insofar as their access is conditional upon the prior authorization of the service provider. Prohibited activities would include the illicit possession, manufacture or import of (and other significant activities in relation to) devices or systems that allow unauthorized access to conditional access services.

Violations would trigger liability for economic loss, as well as criminal liability, if perpetrated as a professional activity or otherwise for financial gain. For example, offering an illicit circumvention system for free dissemination over the Internet could constitute a professionally conducted activity.

It is assumed that any person conducting such an activity would be aware of the impact of widespread dissemination of such an illicit system to internet users as well as of the significant economic loss that could be suffered by service providers. The penalty would be a fine or imprisonment for up to one year. The illicit circumvention system or device and any related promotional materials would, as a rule, be confiscated.

Data Security

The bill also proposes amendments to Finland's act on Privacy and Data Security in Telecommunications (565/1999).

The amendments would extend the right of telecommunications users to protect the content of their communications by technical means to cover messages transmitted via networks other than the public telecommunications network.

Further amendments would impose a duty on telecommunications companies to store call identification information where reasonable for a period of six months. The right of government authorities to gain access to such identification information would be extended to cover offences typically committed using the Internet (eg, defamation and dissemination of racist or pornographic materials).

The new legislation is scheduled to come into effect this year.

For further information on this topic please contact Craig Thompson or Tanja Liljeström at Roschier Holmberg, Attorneys Ltd by telephone (+358 8 551 33 11) or by fax (+358 8 551 46 01) or by e-mail ([email protected] or tanja.liljeströ[email protected]).
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