Finnish Internet Forum 2022
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in 2022 the Finnish Internet Forum (FIF) was organized in two parts: a one-issue event in the spring, and a full-scale event in the autumn. Both events were streamed and are available for viewing at Internet Society Livestream.
A panel discussion on ‘Internet and War’ was organized on Monday 23 May at the Think Corner of the University of Helsinki. An expert panel discussed how the ongoing war has affected the internet, as well as how the internet has been utilized and what effects this has on society. The panelists were Mikko Hyppönen (F-Secure), Catharina Candolin (OP financial group, expert on cyber security) and Peter Sund (CEO of Finnish Information Security Cluster FISC ry). The event was moderated by Johan ’Julf’ Helsingius, the Chair of the Finnish Chapter of ISOC.
Link to the recording:
The second and main part of the 2022 FIF was held 29 September in the Auditorium of the Annex of the House of the Parliament, the prestigious venue that FIF has been privileged to use for most of its sessions since 2010, due to excellent cooperation with the Committee on Transport and Communications and the Committee on the Future of the Parliament.
The forum was opened by the Chair of the Committee on Transport and Communications, Suna Kymäläinen. She noted that internet-related issues have a central place on the agenda of the committee, and that they need to be subject of a broad multistakeholder discussion as well, something that FIF, for its part, facilitates.
Adressing the forum, Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka stressed Finland’s policy objectives: safe, open, global Internet (“We want an internet, not a splinternet”) which enables transparency, control of one’s own data and equal participation opportunities for all stakeholders. All measures, national and international, should aim to developing human-centric solutions, and prevent the use of the Internet in restricting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In a video keynote, MEP Mia-Petra Kumpula–Natri presented the view from her vantage point in Brussels on the multipronged Internet-related legislation now being
prepared. However, she cautioned, not everything can be achieved by legislation. There is room and need for multistakeholder action in all areas.The first panel tackled the question, whether the giants of platform economy are the best thing that happened to freedom of expression since Gutenberg, or are they a threat worse than imagined by Orwell? And further, do the attempts by governments to control discussion on the Internet threaten the freedom of expression, or do they save it from all evil?
The Chair of the Finnish Chapter of Reporters Without Borders Yrsa Gruene-Luoma, Director for Public Affairs of Google Finland Heidi Jern, Ambassador (Digitalization/Technology Affairs) Stefan Lindström and Dr. Matti Nelimarkka from the Centre for Social Data Science, University of Helsinki discussed the questions, all opting for answers somewhere in between the extremes. The panel was moderated by the Vice Chair of Electronic Frontier of Finland Tapani Tarvainen.
The second panel looked into new European Internet-related legislation from the point of Finnish individuals and companies, especially the benefits they may bring to SME’s. A study on the latter made at the Finnish Innovation Fund (SITRA) was presented by its Specialist in Fair Data Economy Meeri Toivanen. Senior Security Specialist at Ministry of Transport and Communications Marième Korhonen discussed the Data Market Act, Senior Specialist at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Iiro Ihanamäki the Data Service Act, and Senior Ministerial Adviser at Ministry of Transport and Communications Kreetta Simola the second Network and Information Security Directive (NIS-2).
Changing the language of proceedings from Finnish to English, the third panel traced the road toward Global Digital Compact. The role of Internet Governance fora at all levels – global, regional, national –in its preparations was discussed by NRI Coordinator Anja Gengo and Programme and Technology Manager Chengetai Mansango at UN IGF Secretariat and Councelor Juuso Moisander at the Finnish Permanent Mission, who all joined the discussion from Geneva, as well as IGF Leadership Panel Member Lisa Fuhr, who managed to connect while waiting for her plane at an airport, and EuroDIG Secretary-General Sandra Hoferichter, who also made a presentation on the 2023 EuroDIG (to be held 6-8 June in Tampere, Finland). This segment was moderated by ISOC Finland Vice Chair Yrjö Länsipuro.
Link to the recording: