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Monday's papers: Intelligence documents leak, heavy concert accident, the job's in your genes

Today's Helsingin Sanomat reports that police have searched the home of one of its journalists in connection with the paper's publication of classified security information.

helsinginsanomien artikkeli.
On Saturday, Helsingin Sanomat published a report about the Defence Forces' Intelligence Research Centre. Image: Timo Jaakonaho / Lehtikuva

News of the police search of the home of Helsingin Sanomat reporter Laura Halminen on Sunday evening was reported by most of the nation's media outlets this morning.

Halminen is one of two of the paper's journalists responsible for a report published by Helsingin Sanomat about the Defence Forces' Intelligence Research Centre that included information from leaked classified documents. (see: Defence Forces file criminal complaint over newspaper's intelligence story )

During the search, which was carried out without a court order, police seized Halminen's personal phone, her company phone, her personal computer and iPad, as well as a large number of USB flash drives. Police also reportedly searched through her bookshelves and kitchen ventilation, but did not search her children's room.

According to the account by Helsingin Sanomat, earlier in the evening a computer hard drive Halminen was destroying with a hammer began smoking. She called firefighters who arrived accompanied by a police patrol. Once the officers realized who she was, the officers called in backup.

Laura Halminen has specialized in reporting on data security and has also written for Helsingin Sanomat on subjects including the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement.

"By destroying the device, I wanted to ensure the confidentiality of my sources as well as possible," said Halminen. According to Helsingin Sanomat, the hard drive she destroyed did not contain information related to the paper's controversial Intelligence Research Centre article.

In a published statement, Helsingin Sanomat's editor-in-chief, Kaius Niemi expressed concern over the development.

"Searches targeting the homes of journalists, especially to this extent, are totally exceptional in Finland, a country with the profile of a leading country in press freedom. I consider what has happened to be very worrying for the ability of the media to function and for the protection of sources," said Niemi.

What research centre?

Stressing that its report is based on public, unclassified sources, newsstand tabloid Iltalehti today gives readers a long, but rather vague explanation of what the Defence Forces' Intelligence Research Centre is and what it does.

Based in Tikkakoski near Jyväskylä, the Intelligence Research Centre is described by Iltalehti as the Defence Forces’ ”nerve centre" for radio signal intelligence.

In Finland, it explains, these intelligence operations are divided into three categories: Communications Intelligence, Electronic Intelligence, and Foreign Instrumentation Signals Intelligence.

The paper points out that in practice most foreign intelligence depends on international cooperation and the exchange of information, and the monitoring of openly available signals.

It also notes that the capability of capturing military signals traffic has diminished as communications have increasingly shifted to data cable connections.

Seven injured at concert

Many of the morning's papers, including the Tampere-based Aamulehti, carried reports that a "Heavy Christmas" concert in Vaasa came to an abrupt end Sunday when a large ventilation duct and lighting equipment came crashing down on the audience at a Christmas heavy music concert in Vaasa.

Seven people were injured, none seriously, and the audience was evacuated in an orderly fashion.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

The job in your genes

Do you work in the public or private sector? According to a study reviewed by the economic and business daily Kauppalehti, the answer to that question might be influenced by your genetic heritage.

Writing in the quarterly “Talous & Yhteiskunta” (Economy & Society)  published by Finland's Labour Institute for Economic Research, senior researcher Terhi Maczulskij says that what jobs people do can be mainly explained by professional preferences, education, and genetic factors.

Research indicates that people who are employed in the public sector are characterized by a higher level of education, less wealth, a greater appreciation of non-material rewards and risk-avoidance behaviours.

Maczulskij writes that about half of the differences between people who choose public sector careers over the private sector jobs can be explained by their genetic heritage.

"A significant role for genetic inheritance cannot be completely denied, and possible channels for this can be motivation to provide service and a capacity to deal with risks, both of which have been found to be linked to genetic inheritance," Maczulskij argues.

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