The first real penalties were imposed on cyber-criminals in Finland


The third week of October brought news on how the court in Finland sentenced Johan Bäckman, a Kremlin activist and founder of the suspicious content publication, MV-Leht as well as the publication’s director, Ilja Janitskin to imprisonment and financial penalties.

The ERR portal writes with reference to the Finnish National Broadcasting that Bäckman was sentenced to one year’s probation and Janitskin to one year and 10 months of imprisonment. According to the Helsinki Sanomat, the men must pay compensation and legal costs totaling 283,625. EUR, of which a maximum of 60,000. EUR will be paid to the main target of the hostility campaign, Jessikka Arole.

According to ERR, the charge stated that, among other things, intimating hatred, threats, aggravated slander, criminal dealings in donations and gambling as well as violation of confidentiality requirements were conducted.

Jessika Aro is a Finnish journalist who, in 2014, published articles about Russian minded internet trolls and consequently became the target of an international hostility campaign. You can read more about it in Propastop’s 2016 posting.

The Finnish Journalists Union’s website, has summarized the judgement and formulated five conclusions:

1 The court took the position of dealing with individuals who treated a third party in an abusive manner;

2 The abuse from different channels was viewed as a whole, and tagging was considered as part of the offense;

3 editors are not, due to their work, automatically public figures;

4 Abusive reworking of photos and the distribution of such images is not permissible;

5 the publisher of a website has the responsibility of a publisher;

In October, the Postimees wrote about a similar case in Estonia about a school family forum user.

Photo: Toomas Huik/Scanpix /Postimees