Finland: Complaints not allowed for the Police child-porn censorship list

By EDRi · June 17, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Finnland: Beschwerden über die Kinderpornografieliste der Polizei nicht erlaubt |]

The Helsinki Administrative court decided on 20 May 2009 that complaints
lodged in regards to the child-porn censorship list maintained by the
Finnish Police are not allowed.

The case originates from one Finnish activist’s “battle” against the
censorship list maintained by the Finnish police and originally the
censorship law passed by the Finnish Parliament in 2006, meant to combat
child pornography. The list works in the manner that in conjunction with the
ISPs the Finnish Police is able to bock access to certain sites deemed as
having child pornography content and thus illegal.

However what the activist Matti Nikki contests is that although the list is
maintained for a good cause, many sites including Mr. Nikki’s own site (translated as meant to display parts of the
Police’s censorship list end up as being blocked in an arbitrary manner by
the Police. This is shown by the way in which the Finnish Police acted in
relation to Mr. Nikki, after he started a direct debate with the Finnish
Police; the Police stepped in and included Nikki’s site onto the censorship
list, after which Mr. Nikki was interrogated by the Police and the Finnish
Attorney General deliberated whether Mr. Nikki should be prosecuted for
distribution of child pornography. No action of prosecution followed, and
Mr. Nikki asked that his site be removed from the list of censored sites.
The Finnish Central Criminal Police decided not to release
Mr. Nikki appealed to the Helsinki Administrative Court, which gave its
decision in May 2009.

The decision of the Helsinki Administrative Court states that Mr. Nikki’s
site is being censored, however the most worrying aspect is that while the
court admits that the case is in fact about censoring Mr. Nikki’s personal
site, it totally walks over the Finnish constitution and the rights
enshrined in it in relation to freedom of speech, without even giving any
reasoning why it has done so. This is a grave violation of Article 10 of the
European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr. Nikki, who is represented by the Helsinki – based law firm Turre Legal,
will appeal the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland
during June 2009.

Decision of the Helsinki Administrative Court (only in Finnish, 20.05.2009)

(contribution by Markku Räsänen – Summer Associate, Turre Legal, Finland)