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In Finland, Nokia May Get Its Own Snooping Law

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the expectation-of-privacy dept.

Privacy 284

notany writes "Nokia may be too big a company for Finland (a country of 5 million people). It seems that Nokia's lobbyists can push an unconstitutional law through the legislature at will. After Nokia was caught red-handed, twice, snooping on its employees (first 2000-2001, second 2005), the company started a relentless lobbying and pressure campaign against politicians to push what the press has been calling 'Lex Nokia' or the 'snooping law.' This proposed law would allow employers to investigate the log data of employees' e-mails, legalizing the kind of snooping that Nokia had engaged in. Parliament's Constitutional Law Committee asked the opinions of eight legal experts, and all opined that the proposed law is unconstitutional. The committee ignored all the advice and declared the proposal constitutional." An anonymous reader adds a link to an AFP story reporting that Nokia has threatened to pull out of Finland unless the law passes.

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284 comments

In soviet union (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686397)

In soviet union....hey wait a minute!

Re:In soviet union (4, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686443)

The country code for Finland used to be SF, standing for Suomi-Finland, as Suomi is how we Finns call Finland. The ongoing joke was that SF really stood for Soviet Finland due to our somewhat submissive relationship with the USSR.

Re:In soviet union (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686891)

The ongoing joke was that SF really stood for Soviet Finland due to our somewhat submissive relationship with the USSR.

Anyone calling the Finns "submissive" towards the USSR has never bothered to read a history book. If the Finns were submissive, Finland wouldn't even exist as a country today. The Finns stood up to Stalin [wikipedia.org] and resisted his aggressive designs -- they managed to stalemate the Soviets for more than three months even though they were outnumbered 4 to 1 (in men, the disparity in tanks/aircraft/artillery was even worse) and kept their sovereignty.

Here's a tidbit for anyone that tells you the Finns were submissive: Of the European nations involved in WW2 only three managed to survive the war without having their capital occupied by the enemy: the UK, the Soviet Union and Finland.

Re:In soviet union (2, Informative)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686973)

Do read up on finlandization, then. It's what we have now towards the US, the EU and NATO instead of what we used to have after the war and until 1991, when it was with regard to the USSR. Most everyone fucking hates that our so-called elected leaders are entirely spineless towards power of any kind.

We do have a bit of national pride with regard to the winter war. It's mostly misplaced: the main reason why that war went so well was that Stalin set the invasion up as a PR operation first and foremost. His troops had no supplies, no supply lines, not even proper winter wear. And yet they managed to conquer significant areas of land, which for some reason is billed as a "defensive victory".

The finnish army subsequently went on, encouraged by the "victory", to get their arses kicked alongside the foremost military might of the time, Nazi Germany. The Soviets were the ones doing the kicking, unsurprisingly.

Re:In soviet union (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687231)

It's mostly misplaced: the main reason why that war went so well was that Stalin set the invasion up as a PR operation first and foremost. His troops had no supplies, no supply lines, not even proper winter wear. And yet they managed to conquer significant areas of land, which for some reason is billed as a "defensive victory"

Well, like most Russian "victories" they were successful by drowning their opponent in Russian blood. The Russians took nearly half a million casualties to conquer 9% of a country that wasn't even a 50th of the size of the Soviet Union. One Russian general was quoted as saying "We've won just enough ground to bury our dead"

The finnish army subsequently went on, encouraged by the "victory", to get their arses kicked alongside the foremost military might of the time, Nazi Germany.

I don't know how you can say you got your asses kicked when you were the only non-western country to come out of the war with your sovereignty intact. You did better than the Baltic States, Poles or even the Germans. Have some national pride and don't be so dismissive of your accomplishments. You held onto your sovereignty against the most ruthless power of the day with little outside support despite overwhelming odds.

I'd love to get to come to Finland some day and see some of the memorials and museums related to the Winter and Continuation Wars. Where would you suggest I go?

Re:In soviet union (4, Insightful)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687353)

Call it what you will; I like to call it "less than being conquered". Don't get me wrong -- it's vastly preferable to the other thing, but it's not a victory. Calling it such a thing is a leftover of the old cultural homogeneity that took a beating in the post-Soviet-breakup crash and the recession that followed. Reminding people of the lies they were fed during that time will get you weird looks, after which whatever you say goes in one ear and out the other.

Now with regard to the Quest for All Land Between The Border and The Urals, also known as Operation Barbarossa. I'll say that it was a pretty smart tactical move at the time: it wasn't all that certain that Nazi Germany wasn't going to win (though it's painfully obvious in retrospect). Taken this way, it was a method for hedging our bets and hopefully avoiding both Stalin's and Hitler's purges, whichever would end up victors.

Still, attacking Russia, even during the summer, was nothing short of madness brought on by jingoism and the belief that as allies of Nazi Germany we'd be invincible. ("What Soviet arms industries? They're just a bunch of ignorant farmers, aren't they. We'll have their cake just like the last time.") Between the wars, speaking publicly of peace and goodwill would get one locked up for treason. Not a nice time from a civil rights perspective.

As for museums, gee, I have really no idea. There's a museum of military aviation somewhere, and one about historical armor in Parola. The national museum in Helsinki has a permanent display of pre-independence arms and armor (as in personal armor. plate.). For this, you're really asking the wrong guy. Perhaps wikitravel would serve you better?

Re:In soviet union (2, Insightful)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687059)

Anyone calling the Finns "submissive" towards the USSR has never bothered to read a history book. If the Finns were submissive, Finland wouldn't even exist as a country today. The Finns stood up to Stalin [wikipedia.org] and resisted his aggressive designs

And that is when they were allied with Hitler's Germany.

Nevertheless this law is absurd as much as absurd are part of finnish costumes. A country where there is no privacy and you are eligible to get anyone's identity and tax forms with a SMS isn't a country protecting his citizens right to private life (unless they are gipsies [countrystudies.us] of course).

Re:In soviet union (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687147)

And that is when they were allied with Hitler's Germany.

They weren't allied with anybody (though the Swedes did provide some logistical support and volunteers) during the Winter War. You are thinking of the Continuation War.

Holly Crap Fist Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686403)

I for one welcome our Nokia over lords!

Re:Holly Crap Fist Post (2)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686633)

If I contracted out a translator to retype a French document in English, and I gave them my laptop to do it on I'd damn sure want to make sure I know everything he does on it.

I'd want to do the decent thing by making sure he knows that anything he does with the machine will be logged.

I think this is pretty reasonable, and I see a large corporation doing this as the same ethical situation - what is the problem here?

Re:Holly Crap Fist Post (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686787)

Listen son, in the Real World people don't have a choice in whether they can work to feed themselves or not. Unfortunately work takes up a disproportionate amount of time in one's life (despite computers and robots which were supposed to eliminate the need to work). Companies need to start accommodating workers instead of spying on them, stressing them out, and treating them like shit. A company like Nokia that will go out of its way to break the law in order to harm its employees should be forced to nationalize its assets (or at least have a suitable and similar punishment), unfortunately the people who run companies tend to be hypocrites and untrustful. We need to start spying on the executives of large companies, and not the other way around.

Re:Holly Crap Fist Post (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686971)

The problem with work mail is that we are quite heavy unionized here in Finland (even in IT sector which - I've heard - isn't as unionized on the other side of the Ocean). The union's representatives have full right and reason to use their work address to communicate with other employees regarding business with the union.

Employers should really not be allowed to snoop on this. Same goes for other info that you are allowed to use your work mail to but the employer shouldn't be allowed to read. For example, I (like a lot of Finns. We have decent universal healthcare but many employers make deals with private firms too) have healhcare paid by work. I don't think that still means I am not allowed to have confidentiality with my problem. And if I'm not, that should have been in the contract originally.

dam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686413)

Nokia is one company I don't want to have to boycott.

Doesn't seem I have a choice any more.

The Lesson Is... (5, Insightful)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686429)

Any corporation that is big enough and has enough money, can get the politicians they buy to do anything for them, regardless of the effects on the rest of us.

The average person is nothing but a 21st century serf and the corporations are the royalty.

The scenery and technology has changed since the 1700s, but not much else has.

Re:The Lesson Is... (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686457)

The difference is that the employees can quit and get other jobs and the customers can buy other products.

Re:The Lesson Is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686531)

In theory yes,
In practice not so much

Re:The Lesson Is... (5, Interesting)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686575)

The difference is that the employees can quit and get other jobs and the customers can buy other products.

Absolutely! Would you like Exxon gas or Mobile gas for your car? What kind of Microsoft computer do you want to use at work? Would you prefer AT&T spying on your, or Comcast?

How about working freelance or starting your own business? Just make sure you don't ever do anything that a large corporation doesn't want you to do, or you will be held [1]personally liable! Also, don't get sick, because you won't have any health care! Who cares that our great leader, Big Brother, isn't held up to these standards? After all, he did such a great job last year, we personally gave him a 16.9 billion dollar bonus! I know that was the best $100 of my tax money I ever spent!

[1]http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/30/2032236

Re:The Lesson Is... (-1, Troll)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686611)

Oh, nice, I just noticed your signature. Because it is religion that's screwing up this country, amiright or amiright? Because, you know how religious those bankers and politicians are, never lieing and always going to church! It's totally religion that's the opium of the masses, because things like Television and MMOs are SOOO ineffective at making people lazy. I just hope that people like you keep fighting the good fight against those religious bastards, they should stop their charity work and start watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager, like the rest of us good Americans! /sarcasm

Re:The Lesson Is... (3, Insightful)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686621)

Even if you've never worked for a corporation in your life, you are still at the mercy of their whims when they buy politicians and laws (which they do constantly).

That still makes you a peon and the corporations the royalty anyway you look at it.

Maybe you can be the village blacksmith (Consultant) rather than the Baron's whipping boy (corporate programmer), but that still doesn't make you any less subject to the whims of the law put in place by the Royalty.

Re:The Lesson Is... (2, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686869)

The difference is that the employees can quit and get other jobs and the customers can buy other products.

Yeah employees have choices; they can quit, they can go postal, they can suck cock, etc. Unfortunately the choices that most employees have are often just as negative or worse than doing nothing.

And yes, customers can stop buying from Walmart to stop the economic collapse of their towns. This doesn't happen for some strange economic reason. They (the smiling minimum wage Walmart Worker) will sell you the rope to hang yourself, and at bargain prices.

Re:The Lesson Is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686487)

" An anonymous reader adds a link to an AFP story reporting that Nokia has threatened to pull out of Finland unless the law passes. "

Some might see this as a superpower threatening to destroy Finland's economy. Others might see it as a tyrant offering to leave.

Lawmakers, if you don't want to see your country on the leash of a business, stop worrying about your campaign losing its funding. Your job is to the people and their innate human rights.

Re:The Lesson Is... (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686717)

Others might see it as a tyrant offering to leave.

Lawmakers, if you don't want to see your country on the leash of a business, stop worrying about your campaign losing its funding. Your job is to the people and their innate human rights.

Still, it's more important to keep our programmers fed and employed, rather than keeping the secrets about secretary's day lotion under lock and key.

The "true piracy hardcores" seem to be taking a break (anonymizers, etc), and now we are meddling with "soft" security. It's not the important kind of security, judging simply by the fact that anyone can get to that data if they wanted. I'm sure Nokia has had some bad exeriences with data leakage, and if they have the tools to home in on whoever did it, they should be able to use it... to partake in appropriate punitive measures.

Re:The Lesson Is... (1, Redundant)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686857)

So what are you saying, laws are for little people?

Re:The Lesson Is... (2, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686957)

So what are you saying, laws are for little people?

I'm saying: if nokia really thinks they need this, they can implement it inside their own IT infrastructure if they want. If that is the alternative to shipping the jobs to india / china, I'm all for it - because this scheme doesn't really hurt people who know how the system works, and can take precautions with mails they send. Amend this with "for personal emails use gmail", and it's as humane as needs to be.

Re:The Lesson Is... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687049)

Regardless of whether you find it harmless in this specific instance or not, ignoring the constitution just because it's convenient for a company doesn't set a very good precedent, now does it?

Re:The Lesson Is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686643)

The average person is nothing but a 21st century serf and the corporations are the royalty.

Maybe, but I would say the corporations are our feudal overlords, with royalty above them.

Re:The Lesson Is... (1)

phosphorylate this (1412807) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686691)

Does a realistic perspective really make an argument not worth reading?

There have been many places and times since 15th century europe where people have been reduced to a "serflike" state, modern Finns ain't close to it though. The workers of 20th-century european colonial possessions or soviet russia perhaps?

Re:The Lesson Is... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687265)

I think you are looking at the quality of life of today's serfs and declaring them not-serfs simply because they have modern conveniences and distractions. This only makes them happier, very busy and distracted serfs... serfs with "something to lose" are less likely to fight back than serfs with nothing to lose. This is a great lesson that government and business has learned over the centuries.

Re:The Lesson Is... (1)

msormune (808119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686819)

Oh so people still die of diseases in their 30's like in 18th century? How about equality between women and men, just to name a few differences?

And how about NOT using company email for personal purposes, but something like gmail? Just set up a email account OUTSIDE your company, and be happy ever after.

Re:The Lesson Is... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686843)

"Buying politicians" used to be called "bribing" and also used to be illegal.

WTF happened?

Re:The Lesson Is... (1)

ThinkTwicePostOnce (1001392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686979)

Their PR person speaking to the press, as opposed to their lobbyists speaking to Finland's
legislators, clearly states they have no plans to leave Finland.

I suggest the legislators state, with equal assuredness, that they have no plans to nationalize Nokia.

Apparently an employee emailed confidential engineering documents to a competitor in China, and Nokia is unable to prevent themselves from investigating in an illegal manner. Maybe they'd have an easier time doing their snooping on the Chinese end, where snooping is not only legal, but practially the national pasttime!

Re:The Lesson Is... (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687217)

Apparently an employee emailed confidential engineering documents to a competitor in China, and Nokia is unable to prevent themselves from investigating in an illegal manner.

Nokia would need to spy on the entire country of Finland then (and on a couple neighboring ones) because it takes a honest but misguided person, or a stupid person, to email confidential documents to a competitor from his desk at work, using company's email services. A real spy would copy the materials on a Flash disk, and encrypt them before sending anywhere, and send from home or from an Internet cafe.

Boycott (2, Insightful)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686439)

My mobile phone is due for an upgrade. It looks like Nokia join Sony-Ericcson on the blacklist; they can all get fucked. I guess it's a Samsung this time. If only all the 13 year old girls sending a million texts a month and those jackasses constantly yakking into their mobiles actually cared about corporate ethics, then such a boycott may actually be meaningful.

Re:Boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686555)

If you're looking for a cheap, lightweight, long-lasting (more than a week of light usage between charges) just-a-phone, I love my Samsung SGH-C260. Not sure if there's a US version though, as mine is a European dual-band.

Re:Boycott (3, Insightful)

Godji (957148) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686649)

What did SE do?

Re:Boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686713)

They share a corporate overlord with Sony BMG, which is one of the prime funders of the MAFIAA.

Re:Boycott (3, Informative)

iNaya (1049686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686793)

They're associated with Sony, who also own Sony BMG, part of the RIAA, and installed rootkits on lots of unaware users' computers. That's all I can remember I'm sure they've done other things too.

Re:Boycott (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686983)

Get a blackberry. I just got one, they're cool, and I don't think RIM ever spied on anybody.*

*I am not in any way associated with RIM or Blackberry beyond my data plan.

Re:Boycott (3, Informative)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687015)

My mobile phone is due for an upgrade. It looks like Nokia join Sony-Ericcson on the blacklist; they can all get fucked.

You are not a frequent reader? In the last few weeks, Nokia put Qt out under LGPL. The good karma earned through that action alone should be enough for us to ignore strongarm political tactics (and small PR disasters) for a while.

Re:Boycott (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687175)

Putting Qt's move from GPL to LGPL above the small matter of strongarming an unconstitutional surveillance law seems a trifle... Myopic, perhaps?

Re:Boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687281)

Oh, they released a toolkit under the LGPL. They can do no wrong now!

Praise Jebus!

In a true constitutional republic (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686447)

... Nokia's assets would be seized, their senior employees and lobbyists arrested, and the company shut down.

Threat of a corporation leaving? Seriously? That's enough to violate the foundation of the Finnish constitutional republic?

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

not flu (1169973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686549)

You don't seem to comprehend how big an economical impact that would have on a country of 5 million people.

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686689)

What you're saying it was blackmail? Is blackmail OK? Why would it be OK for a big corporation?

This kind of law, let alone this kind of behaviour, sets a very scary precedent.

Re:In a true constitutional republic (4, Insightful)

sabernet (751826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686837)

Solution: Nokia is attempting to extort the gov't to draw a custom law for them.

So the gov't nationalizes Nokia as part of a law they would draw up instead that states that Corps attempting extort the gov't should be nationalized.

Sure it doesn't sound fair and is, itself, a scary precedent. But it's no scarier then letting Nokia run a privately owned country and would certainly teach the CEO a thing or two about fucking with the people who grew his company up.

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686997)

So the gov't nationalizes Nokia as part of a law they would draw up instead that states that Corps attempting extort the gov't should be nationalized.

and would certainly teach the CEO a thing or two about fucking with the people who grew his company up.

So your purposed method of teaching the CEO "a thing or two" is to punish a few million shareholders, including (in all likelihood if you have any mutual funds) yourself? What could possibly go wrong?

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687205)

Shareholders citizens

And even at that, I'm sure something a bit more officially drawn would consider such problems and offset them at least to some extent.

But freedoms are more valuable then propping up those who prop up those who take those freedoms away.

Hell, if it goes south, just blame it on the "economic downturn" like every other company is nowadays.

But all I'm saying is it goes both ways. The gov't doesn't have to bend over and take it from Nokia(though I'm sure many within it will gladly sell themselves to do so as with any gov't).

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687233)

interesting, I distinctly saw the "smaller then" sign on the preview.

It should have read "Shareholders < citizens"

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686551)

What if the VP of lobbying is ex prime minister? In Nokia it is so.

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687111)

A politician sold to the private sector is not breaking news. Obama just took in his staff a MAFIAA lawyer...

It would not be a problem if people were given proper information and the possibility to vote honest politicians (utopia).

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686711)

The threat of pulling out should be sufficient grounds to place the company's officers located in Finland as flight risks to ensure they stand trial should they be unsuccessful in buying the new law.

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686733)

Forgot two words; the above should read "under arrest as flight risks"

Re:In a true constitutional republic (2, Insightful)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686851)

Arrested for what? I'm not sure there is a law forbidding company representatives from saying their company will leave if the legislative environment of a country is not changed to their liking.

Re:In a true constitutional republic (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686933)

For violation of the law as it currently stands -- if the company or its officers are likely to face charges, and they've threatened to "pull out" of Finland, that demonstrates a flight risk.

Re:In a true constitutional republic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687075)

Exactly. People are allowed to leave if they don't like the product (that includes goods, services, employment and countries) they're getting so why can't corporations?

A few more laws for Nokia to consider (5, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686451)

- Law to force phone manufacturers to make their keys on their phones large enough for an adult male to operate without using a thimble

- Law to make phones water resistant. Currently all Nokia phones have a minature water detector linked to a self destruct mechanism

- Law to ensure annoying bugs in firmware are dealt with in a timely manner. No, not by releasing an updated model that you have to buy at full price because you're still on contract with the buggy phone.

- Law to ensure that the loudspeaker function doesn't change (and in particular isn't replaced with a cancel call button) between making a call and the call being connected.

- Law to ensure the phone doesn't require speakerphone to be activated before a human being is able to actually hear what's said. Phones shouldn't be built for magical leprechauns that live inside them

- Law to ensure that the duration of a call is logged in the call log, not just for the last call.

Re:A few more laws for Nokia to consider (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686615)

Shorter parent: I'm fat, clumsy, and deaf. Wah!

Re:A few more laws for Nokia to consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687077)

I wonder if parent live underwater. Nokia is based in Finland, there's nothing but snow and rain up here.

The phone isn't meant too hold if you drop it in the toilet, there are proper phones with that feature.

you mean there are places that DO respect privacy? (5, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686465)

wait. I'm confused.

there is still a country on earth that has SOME kind of privacy laws that protect individuals from those in greater power (employers, government, etc)?

the heck with nokia leaving finland. I want to MOVE THERE!

Re:you mean there are places that DO respect priva (3, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686741)

Who knows? By the time you get there, they might have joined the rest of the world and no longer care about their citizen's privacy.

It's looking that way.

But who am I, as an American, still subject to George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales' so-called Patriot Act with all the warrantless wiretaps, no notice search warrants, gag orders, etc, to criticize any other country in any way for not caring about citizen privacy?

Not just Nokia or employers in general (5, Informative)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686469)

While the right for employee to monitor your net usage while you are using employer's systems is up for debate, this bill is much worse.

The bill doesn't mention e-mail, or workplace.

It only contains words of "community subscriber" and "identifying information, but not content".

So, universities and schools can monitor what students do on the Internet. Over any protocol, not just e-mail. Who do they call on VoIP. What websites they visit. Same applies for libraries. Or even community housing.

Oh. Good. I enjoy challenges! (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686885)

[...] So, universities and schools can monitor what students do on the Internet. Over any protocol, not just e-mail.

That's fine by me, all they have to do is break my 8192 bit rsa key (on USB drive, along with a portable-apps PuTTY, firefox, thunderbird, and other 'goodies'), or figure out a way to keep me from tunneling other protocols over SSH. They could lock down USB ports, I guess. Although I'll be a bit ticked when I have to go back to carrying live CDs on disk. I guess they could also confiscate the half dozen USB drives that I usually carry... and hope that none of them are hacksaws when them plug them in to a 'doze box as admin. That'd push me back to borrowing a laptop from the library and netstumbling over the campus.

The bottom line is, they aren't going to catch anyone who has a clue, so they'll end up wasting a lot of time and money to monitor all the wrong people. If they're not careful, though, they might accidentally become a challenge to the kind of people who enjoy technical puzzles/systems (read: target for bored and/or curious geeks). For most networks, that would be akin to showing up to a gun fight with a rubber chicken... at best.

Re:Oh. Good. I enjoy challenges! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687223)

So, you are inserting a USB mass storage device, with your RSA key on it, into untrusted computers and you consider this secure?

D'oh! (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687343)

Good point.

I was shooting from the hip to make a point and wound up at Epic Fail.

You've got me thinking now, what would be the most secure way to handle a private key on a campus computer (I live off campus, so I use one of them about once a semester)? I guess boot a live cd first, then use the key... or keep two keys and use the first one (a throw away) to SSH to a known secure host where you have your normal key? That way, at least you've gotten your good key encrypted and you can always revoke the throw away if it becomes compromised, I guess.

Re:Not just Nokia or employers in general (1)

MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687129)

So, universities and schools can monitor what students do on the Internet.

In Sweden, and to a similar extent in Finland, there is no privacy within public institutions - such as universities. All public documents (meaning those produced by _any_ public institution) are public record unless specifically ruled otherwise (e.g. national security, relations to a foreign power, etc).

As a Swedish university employee, all my email at my university address is a matter of public record. Not only can my boss read it, any member of the public can come in and ask for a copy, no questions asked. (That said, this has never actually happened to me. But there are legal implications for data retention, etc)

Promises (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686477)

an AFP story reporting that Nokia has threatened to pull out of Finland unless the law passes.

Let them go. Companies that hurt a country should not be tolerated. Only companies that are useful should be welcomed. A corrupt company leaving a country is not a "threat" ("a source of danger").

Oh no (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686481)

Cue endless stories about how the Finns beat the Soviets in the Winter war, even though they didn't actually win but rather lost 10% of their territory and a fifth of their industrial base. For that reason alone Finland deserves to be spied on.

Re:Oh no (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686969)

Cue endless stories about how the Finns beat the Soviets in the Winter war, even though they didn't actually win but rather lost 10% of their territory and a fifth of their industrial base.

Oh go fuck yourself. They did better than any other country (including Germany, I might add) did against the Soviet Union. Think you could do any better when fighting someone who has sixty times your landmass and fifty times your population?

To Clarify (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686489)

Currently, in Finland, it is illegal to monitor emails of employees who are using company equipment and the company network. This is, of course, completely absurd.

All Nokia wants is the ability to see the the following information: Sender, Receiver, Size and Type of Attachments, and Date/Time. They don't even want to read the contents.

They have a reason to believe that an employee used their own email system to sell their IP.

Does anyone here really think you could run a large company without being able to monitor emails sent by company representatives, using company resources? Does this really seem right to you?

Re:To Clarify (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686509)

Does anyone here really think you could run a large company without being able to monitor emails sent by company representatives, using company resources? Does this really seem right to you?

I wonder why this cannot be a simple contract issue. When you sign up for a job, you're giving up a lot of rights anyway.

Re:To Clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686709)

I wonder why this cannot be a simple contract issue. When you sign up for a job, you're giving up a lot of rights anyway.

Because of, umm, y'know, LAWS!

You cannot have a contract contrary to LAW, even if all parties agree.

Re:To Clarify (5, Informative)

Fluffy Bunnies (1055208) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686791)

You cannot sign away your rights in Finland. There are strict rules about what an employment contract (or any other contract for that matter) can legally include.

Re:To Clarify (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687317)

What's absurd about that?

Corruption test (4, Insightful)

Judge_Fire (411911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686523)

Finland has a long track record for being regarded as the least corrupt country in the world [google.com], or definitely in the top three, depending on the three.

This story has been seen as provocative, given this lily white context, so it's actually quite interesting to see where this goes, especially as we're simultaneously observing the story unfold around the 2% vote fail issue [slashdot.org].

Re:Corruption test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686863)

It seems that this is not the case right now. Last year there was a big scandal, when Finland combat wehicle manufacturer Patria (tried to) bribe Slovenian prime minister.

Re:Corruption test (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687023)

It doesn't matter if you come from a less corrupt country. If you want to operate in a more corrupt one you're going to have to bribe someone.

Re:Corruption test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687243)

Iceland is up there too with only marginally lower score than Finland. You know that country that recently went bankrupt because of corruption.

These kind of measurements are worthless.

In the name of anthopomorphism (2, Interesting)

waveclaw (43274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686529)

I'm surprised that the employment contracts for those employees did not stipulate that all employee email passing through their systems was subject to search. Compared with the USA under King George and Prince Chaney, any country with "laws blocking companies from monitoring employee emails" sounds like a privacy paradise.

It seems that Nokia's lobbyists can push an unconstitutional law through the legislature at will.

I know we're all for humanizing these collective fictions called corporations. Even going so far as to equate them to real people in law.

Now, let's be realistic: someone inside Nokia decided that they personally wanted this law. I guess it's nice to have none of the responsibility for your actions yet the power to have them executed. Some single manager held a meeting and told people to do this, even though it is the whole company that will be judged based on this.

While the employees are paid to be tools of the company, it is a single, living an breathing idiot somewhere inside Nokia that wants to play voyeur. Who? Unless it's a VP or CO level person, we may never know. All we know is that someone might be trying to stop the flow of confidential information out of the company.

Re:In the name of anthopomorphism (1)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686651)

...USA under Emperor George and Darth Chaney...

FTFY - it is /., after all.

Re:In the name of anthopomorphism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687209)

and it will be the same under the Saviour Obama.
It's just the way things are in the USA and I see no signs of it changing for the better in my life time (or likely anyone's lifetime.)

Re:In the name of anthopomorphism (3, Insightful)

GTarrant (726871) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686715)

I'm surprised that the employment contracts for those employees did not stipulate that all employee email passing through their systems was subject to search.

Perhaps, in Finland, one cannot sign away this particular right.

After all, many employment contracts in the US specify that one's job is "at-will" and one can be fired at any time for any reason (mine does). However, signing such a contract still leaves you with rights that the government considers as inviolate, such as the right not to be fired due to your race. No amount of signing, even if the contract specifically states "You sign away this specific right" can take some enumerated rights from you.

Perhaps in Finland, the right not to be spied upon by one's employer is such a right. I don't know that, but if Nokia has multiple times been chastised for doing this, one might assume that could be the case.

Re:In the name of anthopomorphism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686845)

I'm surprised that the employment contracts for those employees did not stipulate that all employee email passing through their systems was subject to search.

Even if it did it would most likely still be a meaningless stipulation as privacy of communication is a constitutional right in Finland and any clause in a contract that tries to limit your constitutional rights is considered invalid even if the rest of the contract might still be valid.

Who cares? (4, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686539)

Wouldn't it be insanely careless to leak information by sending suspicious emails from your corporate account anyway?

Also, does anyone who cares about privacy in any degree use corporate email for anything personal? I think it's reasonable to expect that your nokia.com account should only be used for your official nokia business. Also, corporate emails are typically much less convenient than e.g. gmail anyway, and with limited quotas. Do you really want to use them when you don't have to?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686809)

It's insanely careless to even use your home account.

As far as e-mails go or surfing anonymously, all you need to do is find unsecured wireless - and that is everywhere.

I was amazed to see a few more have now popped up just in my own neighborhood. If I wanted to piggyback on someone, I wouldn't even have to leave my house. With just a bit of driving, proximity wouldn't even be a clue.

Not that I am advocating that by any means. I recommend that anyone I know lock their wireless up with the strongest protocol available. But doing anything illegal from work, or even home is really stupid.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687047)

Actually I see the opposite trend. Maybe just in CA. Most people are locking down their networks. I, in fact, did so after the RIAA starting suing people based on IP addresses. I'd like to provide free, limited (bandwidth-wise) internet to the whole neighborhood, and I'm certainly capable of securing my LAN while doing so, but the law is just not in place to protect my doing so.

So I think the default for "please-set-up-my-internets" guy is going to be to enable encryption until society catches up.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686847)

The law itself, doesn't just give Nokia a right to do so. It gives authority to EVERYONE giving that service. Basically this means even libraries and schools can go behind this law and snoop their network users.

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686907)

Well, a commenter on a Finnish news site replied to similar criticisms by claiming that some of Nokia's design departments are locked out of the internet, and also their computers encrypt anything put on USB drives etc. so that the files can not be viewed on third-party computers. According to the commenter, this effectively makes company e-mail the only way of sending out digital copies of design documents.

Now, it seems unlikely that, even if this is all true, the security policies of these departments would be tight enough to keep a determined spy from getting information out, but I guess in theory this could explain how the law would be of use in preventing industrial espionage.

What is my phone doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26686839)

I have one of the bugfest Nokia N95 phones at the moment, but will defintely be looking at supporting one of the smaller/more independent phone manufacturers at my next upgrade.

The only way companies like this learn, is through bad press, and customers leaving them.

Also consider this - a company so willing to move towards such control freakery, and monitoring of it's staff, even to force laws to be bent and framed to it's will, would surely have no objections to inserting all kinds of remote access (*cough* backdoor *cough*) points into their phones on demand, or perhaps as a sales point, to those in power, who want to use them.

Really sad.. (2, Interesting)

rzei (622725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686867)

For years I've felt bad for, well for example Americans for corporations having way too much power over there. Now even at my very own home country, the employer of my many friends of mine pulls shit like this, it's unbelievable.

For what? To spy their employees? What the fuck?!

Does Nokia even have the slightest competitive edge on innovation at any frontier? No it does not. In the past few years they've only managed to start copying others.. So I guess they are afraid their employees sending emails telling everyone that they are now starting to copy Apple or RIM or whoever employs innovative people. That's like sending answers to simple math questions like 1+1=2.

The law itself, so called "Lex Nokia" is bad, it's really bad. Any organization can, after it's passed start surveillance on their employees after filing some stupid form. Police won't have any control over these operations. You aren't even required to fill the god damn form, you can do it later on and pay a small fine!

Can you spell out obscene in some other way? This is ridiculous. I do not want to live here anymore if Nokia gets it's way. To hell with them, Finland would be a much better place without them. Poor, maybe a bit shaken but it surely isn't worth of losing every last sense of law in this country.

Just if someone would make sure to collect them every cent of development grants they've received in the past years before they go.

The RIAA... (1)

boredhacker (1103107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686989)

...is sending corporate security "goons" to old ladies houses to insure that their Mafia-esque agenda is pushed through legislation and THIS is what makes headlines???? Nokia wants to monitor information going in and out of it's very own system!??!?! BFD!

To quote one of my favorite movies:

It's bush league psych-out stuff! Laughable, man!

Dear Nokia. So long and thanks for all the fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687027)

I have only bought Nokia mobile phones so far. I don't have much to complain about regarding your phones, but now I'm afraid that I will have to buy a phone from another company.

blacklist=Nokia++ (2, Interesting)

hackus (159037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687073)

Lemma see now...

1) I pulled out all of my CISCO gear when I first started working at a local logistics supplier, that was chuck FULL of CISCO. When my boss asked me WHAT WAS I DOING? I simply said, "Well, we have all of these old computers and they can act as gateways, vpn routers, and VoIP servers for our desktops. Why upgrade to equipment we cannot reuse in the budget for other things, or easily fix just by loading BSD or Linux on it?"

But it was all a lie of course...OR

Was it?

I replaced all of the CISCO gear because CISCO, was providing the Chinese government the means to kill and torture anyone they do not like online.

I kept that part to myself as my Boss loves CISCO. He likes to keep his job more though, so he left me do it.

I still buy from Linksys because I need WRT54GL's, which I load with that awesome DD-WRT firmware.

If anyone can recommend a better device I can buy from a company that doesn't help foreign governments hunt down citizens on the internet, that would be great. WRT54GL though is a pretty nice piece of hardware.

CISCO, you suck.

2) Novell. Oh, well...what can I say? Back in the day when I was a Novell administrator, I thought Netware 5 was going to be better and provide a protected mode OS you can run apps on. Nope, I was betrayed. I thought Novell was going to get a nice protected memory architecture and they promised it would, so it would run better, with less ABENDS at 4AM in the morning. They never did deliver any of those promises. Sigh.

I get cranky thinking about the early morning trips into the office, sorry.

But the whole buying of SuSe, getting money above and below the table from a unknown source, eventually, to find out it was Microsoft was the straw that broke the GNU Oxen's back.

So, I ripped out all of my Novell servers, pulled out all of my SuSe servers, and well, my boss was a problem. He liked the SuSe desktop. A couple of days later his workstation wouldn't boot. (I wonder how that happened?)

So, installed Fedora, and he loved it. I said "You know, Fedora is much more stable. We should install Fedora on all of our desktops and servers where we can and get rid of SuSe so you do not crash again." :-)

Called SuSe to tell them, "Tell Bill I said Hi the next time you give him a in the back room. Oh, and one more thing, YAST SUCKS."

Then there is the whole Icaza thing...with the .Net crap SuSe loads on the boxes. .Net is crap in the Microsoft world, so NOW Miguel gets the brilliant idea to make CRAP PORTABLE, and open up a distro such as SuSe to patent litigation!

Yeah, Novell...

YOU SUCK...

IT.

3) Now...SIGH. Nokia. Is it not bad enough, we have politicians who are stupid and remove more and more of our rights on a daily basis? No, you say? You say you want to speed that process up and sovereign governments where you do business are annoying?

That is really too, bad, Nokia.

Tomorrow, it just so happens, I will be calling our cellular carrier and complaining about the reception of these Nokia phones we currently use. (Not really, they work fine. It just begins the process I need to get rid of them out of the organization at all 20 locations in Wisconsin.)

But, make no doubt, after I sabotage, and kill these phones, we will be buying different ones at the end of our contract this May.

Does it always have to end this way?

Nokia. You SUCK.

-Hack

Word about the newspaper. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687213)

I tried to write a comment on what's wrong and at least very deceptive in this news piece - but I quickly figured out that would have been too much work. Just keep in mind that Helsingin Sanomat has basically monopoly position regarding national "quality" newspapers in Finland. It's just the only one left, and has been enjoying this situation for almost two decades now.

It has its own very strong agenda even if it claims to be unbiased, and often I find it hard to believe the journalists have any journalistic dignity left or even believe in being actual journalists. They have several topics they twist heavily only because they have chosen such a line; anti-Nokia line is one of those. Other is to openly attack against non-consensus citizen opinions, especially in the great evil that challenges their own monopoly - the Internet. HS very avidly supports effective (if not legally obvious) reductions of freedom of speech and opinion anonymity. "For better quality public debate", of course.

They are one of the Finnish strongholds of journalists that have received traditionally ultraleftist education and see that their purpose is to produce ideologically accepted news instead of bringing out the facts to the people. It wouldn't be such a problem if the country actually had another national newspaper, especially one with differing opinions to return them in line - but no, there isn't one.

No, I don't think Nokia is a pure saint - but I think HS may even want this legislative change while trying to put the blame to Nokia, and not the leftist government bureaucrats that get pages and pages of newspaper praising from their same-minded "journalists."

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