What constitutes intelligence activities?

The goal of intelligence activities is to improve national safety. Civilian intelligence requires that the use of intelligence gathering methods must be necessary to obtain important information on activities that seriously endanger national security. By means of civilian intelligence, information can be gathered on the following, for instance:

  • terrorism
  • foreign intelligence activities
  • international organised crime
  • activities by foreign states that may cause damage to Finland’s international relations or economic or other important interests
  • activities that threaten vital functions of the society or the life or health of a large number of people
  • design, manufacture, distribution and use of weapons of mass destruction
  • crises threatening international peace and security
  • activities threatening the safety of international crisis management operations

In contrast, the purpose of military intelligence is to obtain and process information on military activities focusing on Finland or important to Finland’s security environment.

In Finland, the Finnish Security Intelligence Service is responsible for civilian intelligence. The Finnish Defence Force is responsible for military intelligence.

The new legislation on civilian and military intelligence entered into force 1.6.2019.