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Supo suspects it was target of espionage via job application process

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service suspects that people have applied for Supo jobs as a way to find out about those who are hired.

Kuvassa on suojelupoliisin päämaja on Helsingin Punavuoressa osoitteessa Ratakatu 12 syyskuussa 2020.
Supo HQ in Helsinki's Punavuori district (file photo). Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) may itself have been the subject of espionage during recruitment processes.

Yle has learned that some individuals may have applied for jobs at the agency as a ruse in order to gather intelligence. These applicants' goal was to find out names and other details about those applicants who were selected for the positions.

The application process for all Supo posts is semi-public. Applicants can access information about who eventually gets the job.

The names of those selected for positions of high sensitivity may be kept secret from the public. However, other applicants for the job have the right to know who was selected, as well as their training, previous positions, and other personal information.

According to Yle's sources, Supo have strong suspicions that over the years there have been situations where recruitment has been used as a cover for intelligence gathering. Having someone apply for a job at Supo could help a foreign country to create a data registry of intelligence service employees, for example.

Yle has not received confirmation whether Supo suspects a foreign state or group of exploiting its recruitment process.

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