— Marja Honkonen

The Finnish Greens' Oras Tynkkynen: Finland could be a safe haven for online services


The Finnish Greens' Oras Tynkkynen: Finland could be a safe haven for online services

Finland has first-class potential to become a leading country in secure network services. Server centers and internet services companies could bring investments and new jobs to Finland, says the Green parliamentary group chairman Oras Tynkkynen.

The recent news from USA and the UK have tarnished the countries' reputation in regards of respecting network privacy. Even in Sweden the Swedish Security Service has the power to monitor all data traffic passing through the country – also Finnish and other foreign messages. Companies and people are concerned about information falling into wrong hands.

– This opens a window of opportunity for Finland. We have yet to see a country successful in providing first-class, secure network services. Finland could be the first, but we need to act quickly, Tynkkynen says.

Network services should be guaranteed a world-class level of data security and privacy. The power of authorities to monitor the internet traffic should be restricted and these activities should be monitored in a transparent way. Tynkkynen suggests that to this end, laws and regulations should be reviewed and revised, if necessary.

Finland could serve as a home base for service centers for many other reasons too. The decline of the pulp and paper industry has created lots of vacant space and, due to the difficulties of Nokia, a lot of skilled labor is available. The authorities are trustworthy and the infrastructure is in good condition. No wonder Finland is ranked number one in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index.

The cold climate of Finland makes cooling of the data centers efficient, profitable and environmentally friendly. Two Finnish data centers were praised in the Wired magazine to be among the world's most energy-efficient.

– Corporate giants like Google and Facebook are interested in keeping their reputation as environment-friendly actors. In these markets Finland will succeed by offering the world's greenest data centers. The required energy can be produced entirely from renewable energy sources, Tynkkynen outlines.

Growth opportunities also exist elsewhere. Last year, the game industry's net sales in Finland grew by more than half, but skilled labor is in short supply. On the online trading and service front Finland is lagging behind.

– With additional education and training measures, we need to guarantee the industry also has sufficient expertise available domestically. Online businesses should be encouraged to dive to the ocean of international markets instead of swimming around the domestic puddles.

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