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Wed, 06 Nov, 2013 04:16:22 AM
Defence forces want more power to tackle cyber threat
FTimes-STT Report, November 6
 
File picture of the defence minister, Carl Haglund and Chief of Defence Staff Ari Puheloinen. Photo - Lehtikuva.
The defence minister, Carl Haglund on Tuesday said that the government is preparing a new law to improve the defence and police forces with cyber strategy, with the view to tackle external cyber threats.
 
“The bill will be drafted by January 2014 and a complete law will be enacted by the next year,” said the minister while addressing the National Defence Information and Planning seminar, held in Helsinki.
 
Pointing out espionage across the globe, he said that the police and defence forces need to be empowered more on the basis of cyber strategy.
 
He said that the details of cyber-spying should be given to experts, and the origin of the attack should be detected at any cost.
 
Ari Puheloinen, the Chief of Defence Staff, said the military needed more powers to tackle cyber threat, although he said that the cyber espionage has not revealed anything on the military.
 
“There is no reason to be proud for that. The threat is always there,” said the defence chief, adding that constant efforts are necessary to tackle the situation.
 
Puheloinen said that the Defence Forces recognized threat to information systems fifteen years ago, which was protected by limiting access to information system.
 
He said that the cyber attacks and strategy could not be discussed openly.
 
According to Puheloinen, it is not specified whether the National Defence can hold the online attackers rights.
 
He also pointed out the limitation of the resources and budget of the defence force to afford hardware and other preparations to tackle cyber threats.
 
Leaders of the political parties supported the demand of the army chief to increase the power of the armed forces in this regard.
 
File picture of hacker. Photo - Lehtikuva.
The Chairman of the Constitutional Law Committee, Johannes Koskinen said that the jurisdiction of the army forces to this effect should be specific and cleared.
 
Chairman of the Parliamentary Defence Committee Jussi Niinistö said the Finnish legislation is lagging behind Sweden in this regard.
 
The discussants also stressed the importance of international cooperation.
 
Lawmaker Christina Gestrin said that all the major countries are involved in spying and Finland can respond to the challenges by improving its knowledge and extending cooperation to other countries.
 
The cyber espionage issue came into light when MTV3, in a report last week, said China and Russia were suspected of being involved with the espionage on the Finnish Foreign Ministry’s digital information.
 
On the same day, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja at a press conference confirmed the wide range of cyber espionage on the digital information system on the Foreign Ministry, although he said the intention of the attack could not be known.
 
Tuomioja also said an investigation was going on in this regard.
 
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