The military intelligence service (Pääesikunnan Tiedusteluosasto – ‘General Staff Intelligence Division’), which is accountable to the Defence Minister, has no separate legal basis. It is responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of the country and to that end it monitors the national territory, in cooperation with other authorities, by land, sea and air. It also carries out signals intelligence via the Communications Experience Facility (VKL).
The civilian intelligence service (Suojelupoliisi – SUPO – Security Police) has been described as a Finnish counterpart of the FBI. It is accountable to the Interior Minister. Its tasks comprise counter-espionage and the prevention of activities which might pose a threat to Finland’s internal security and its international relations, as well as combating terrorism.
The Central function areas of the Finnish Security Police are a) to avert espionage and illegal reconnaissance activities against Finland, b) to avert activities which might endanger interior security of Finland and international relations, c) to act against terrorism, d) security guarding and e) preventive work for security. The Finnish Security Police has three operational units, which are divided by their purpose into 1) the Unit of Counter-Espionage, 2) the Security Unit, and 3) the Unit of Development and Supportive Activities.