Finland approves email snooping law

Finnish President Tarja Halonen on Friday ratified a controversial new law giving employers the right to monitor employees’ emails where wrongdoing is suspected.

Last week, parliament passed the bill with 96 votes in favour and 56 against.

The data retention law, also called "Lex Nokia," has sparked a heated debate in the Nordic country since the beginning of the year, especially after a report that mobile phone giant Nokia had threatened to leave Finland unless the bill was introduced.

Nokia has denied making such claims.

The new law would also allow schools, libraries and telecommunication operators that provide information networks to monitor what people do on their computers.

They would not be allowed to read users’ emails however, but would have the right to for instance check the size of attachments sent and if an employee had sent an email to a competitor.

Many legal experts and electronic rights activists have criticised the law, insisting it will weaken employees’ rights to privacy and was not likely to prevent company secrets from leaking.

 

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Finland approves email snooping law