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EK Director Expresses Surprise at Snooping Law Pressure Claims

The Legal Affairs Director of the Confederation of Finnish Industry, EK, reacted Monday with surprise to claims his group had pressured unions to back a law to give employers access to employees' email.

Henkilö kirjoittaa sähköpostia. Kuvituskuva kuvakooste.
Image: YLE Uutiset grafiikka

The daily Helsingin Sanomat on Monday reported that the EK had pressured the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff, AKAVA, to give its backing to the so-called Lex Nokia law on tele-snooping.

EK Legal Affairs Director Lasse Laatunen said Monday he was amazed by the report, and noted that AKAVA itself has not accused the EK of doing so.

The so-called "Lex Nokia" is a controversial amendment to the Act on Data Protection of Electronic Communications, which if passed this month will allow companies the right to access employees' emails.

Also on Monday, the weekly news magazine Suomen Kuvalehti brought forward a strongly-worded email it said was sent by Laatunen in April 2007 to an influential AKAVA representative and an EK director with a copy forwarded to an AKAVA director. The magazine says that in the email Laatunen was pressuring AKAVA members to support the amendment and let it be understood that reluctance to support preparation of the bill would not be tolerated.

Helsingin Sanomat also reiterates its claims that mobile phone giant Nokia was actively involved in preparing the proposed legislation.

Both EK and Nokia tried to get the new law enacted in 2006. However, union opposition slowed down progress by over a year. Nokia has denied it was active in drawing up the new legislation.

The controversial bill is aimed at giving companies and organisations more rights to track internal electronic communication. Parliament begins debate on the bill on Tuesday.

Sources: YLE

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