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Cablegate: Finland: High Tech Visit by Ambassador Gross

VZCZCXRO2007
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #0266 1700802
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 180802Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4372
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 4893

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000266

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS FOR EEB/CIP/BA WHITNEY WITTEMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECPS EIND EINT ETRD BEXP FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: HIGH TECH VISIT BY AMBASSADOR GROSS

1. (U) Summary: On a May 22-25 visit to Helsinki,
Ambassador David Gross, U.S. Coordinator for
International Communications and Information Policy met
with key government leaders including Finnish Minister
of Communications Suvi Linden, and Ambassador Lanispuro,
ICT and Information Society Policy Coordinator at the
Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Gross
received a briefing on Finland's conversion to digital
television last fall and met with all the key
individuals involved. Ambassador Gross also met with
business leaders from F-Secure, the leading Finnish
computer security company, and MTV3, Finland's largest
commercial broadcast company. On Saturday Ambassador
Gross had extensive discussions on the future of mobile
communications and the Internet with officials from
Nokia, the world's leading mobile phone manufacturer.
Richard Beaird, Senior Deputy United States Coordinator
for International Communications and Information Policy
and Whit Witteman from EEB/CIP accompanied Ambassador
Gross. End summary.

Ambassador Gross in Helsinki: Day One
=====================================

2. (U) On May 23, Ambassador Gross, Richard Beaird, and
Whit Witteman had a full set of meetings in Helsinki.
After meeting with the new U.S. Ambassador to Finland,
Barbara Barrett, they then met with Finnish Minister of
Communications Suvi Linden and her senior team to
discuss Finnish ICT policy and the GOF's role in
supporting ICT innovation. The meeting also touched on
Finland's transition to digital television, Internet
governance and Finland's positive view of ICANN
(Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
and the upcoming OECD meeting in Seoul which both
Ambassador Gross and Minister Linden will attend. The
delegation then received an in-depth briefing on
Finland's conversion to digital television last fall
from Tauno Aijala, a senior official from the Ministry
of Transport and Communications. Finland is the first
country to completely switch to digital television and
Aijala was eager to share "best practices" and "lessons
learned" from Finland's conversion to digital
television. (Note: The U.S. will make the digital
transition in February 2009. End note.)

3. (U) Ambassador Gross then met with Ambassador
Lanispuro, ICT and Information Society Policy
Coordinator at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
to discuss Internet Governance issues, including ICANN
issues. A member of the ICANN President's Strategy
Committee, Lansipuro provided an insider's view on
issues ICANN is facing as it expands its role.
Ambassador Gross then was interviewed by the leading
Finnish business publication, Taloussanomat. The
interview resulted in a very positive article that
focused on how the U.S. is learning from Finland's
example in converting to digital television, as well as
the future of mobile communications and the Internet.
Ambassador Gross also met with Kimmo Alkio, CEO of F-
Secure, Finland's leading computer security company to
discuss cyber security and the containment of digital
threats. Lastly, they met with the senior team from
MTV3, Finland largest commercial broadcast company, to
hear how they have profited and expanded their business
because of the digital conversion.

Ambassador Gross in Helsinki: Day Two at Nokia
============================================= =
4. (SBU) On May 24 the entire delegation had an all-day
visit with senior executives from Nokia, the world's
largest mobile phone manufacturer and the largest
company in Finland. During the meetings there was
substantial in-depth discussions about the USG's ICT
policies, Nokia's plans for the future, including mobile
Internet access, especially in the developing world, and
recent policy developments in Europe, U.S., Africa,
Asia, and India. These Nokia executives, including some
from Nokia's Government Affairs operations in Washington
and Brussels, who expressed interest in working with the
USG to provide mobile phones to Cubans as contemplated
by President Bush's recent announcement.
BARRETT

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