Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

Helsinki, 8 March 2023

Finnish Ministry of the Interior launched three projects with a view to amending border guard legislation. The amendments would reinforce Border Guard human resources and make better use of technology in maintaining border security. The Border Guard would also be able to combat crime more effectively.

Increased use of technology for maintaining border security

Border guard legislation would be amended to apply technology more effectively in border control and in maintaining border security. The need for change relates in particular to the ability of the Border Guard to detect, locate, recognise, identify and monitor radio-frequency signals, and devices that transmit and receive them.

The potential need for regulatory changes concerning the observation and monitoring of UAVs will also be investigated in the same context. The technical control regulations of the Border Guard Act would also be revised to reflect changes in operating conditions.

A further aim is to introduce statutory amendments enabling a more effective response to potential hybrid influencing operations against Finland that exploit migration.

The project period is 7 March – 31 December 2023.

Enhanced Border Guard operations to combat crime

The Act on Crime Prevention by the Border Guard would be revised. This statutory amendment project seeks more efficient criminal investigation procedures.

A warrant for telecommunications surveillance to prevent crime would no longer be limited to particular telecommunications addresses or terminal hardware that are known at the time of requesting the warrant, and the warrant would instead be requested and issued for a particular person.

The Border Guard could use covert information gathering on a data network to prevent any criminal offence that is punishable by a maximum of not less than two years’ imprisonment. Covert information gathering refers to information gathering for a brief period during which the Border Guard could employ false, misleading or disguised information.

Use of surplus information would be enabled when investigating  certain offences in office that are punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years. Surplus information refers to information obtained through telecommunications surveillance, procurement of base station data and technical monitoring, that is not related to a criminal offence or risk prevention, or that concerns some criminal offence other than the one whose prevention served as the purpose of issuing the warrant or making the decision.

The legislative proposal will be linked to previous proposals to amend the Coercive Measures Act and the Criminal Investigation Act that the Government has submitted to Parliament.

The project period is 1 March – 31 December 2023.

Reinforcement of human resources would ensure operational capacity during disruptive episodes under normal conditions

The Act on the Administration of the Border Guard and the Border Guard Act would be amended. This statutory amendment project seeks to deploy the human resources of the Border Guard more flexibly and ensure operational capacity during various disruptive episodes under normal conditions. Examples of such episodes could include a mass influx of migrants, hybrid influencing, or a widespread epidemic of infectious disease for which the Border Guard would need additional human resources.

The status of the Border Guard as a contingency organisation and its prescribed national military defence functions and wartime requirements could be taken into account when filling certain civilian positions. A further aim is to prevent use of the official recruitment process for intelligence gathering. The project is related to the need of the Border Guard to develop the capacity to combat hybrid threats.

The statutory amendments could enable the use of cadets studying at the Border and Coast Guard Academy to support Border Guard operations, for example in discharging border security duties. A further aim of the project is to modernise the deputising arrangements for the Chief of the Border Guard.

The project will also assess the prospects for filling civilian positions that are crucial for military readiness and national defence without a public application procedure. An exception could be made in practice for duties in cybersecurity, for example.

The project period is 1 March – 31 December 2023.

Source – Finnish Government


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