Nils Torvalds

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Nils Torvalds
Nils Torvalds MEP, Strasbourg - Diliff.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for Finland
Assumed office
5 July 2012
Preceded by Carl Haglund
Constituency Finland
Personal details
Born (1945-08-07) 7 August 1945 (age 69)
Ekenäs, Finland
Political party Swedish People's Party of Finland
Residence Helsinki

Nils Torvalds (born August 7, 1945) is a Swedish-speaking Finnish broadcast journalist, writer and politician, who is currently serving as an MEP. Torvalds is the son of the poet Ole Torvalds, and the father of the software engineer Linus Torvalds of Linux kernel fame.[1]

Journalist career[edit]

Born in Ekenäs, Torvalds worked as a journalist of Finlands Svenska Television from 1982. He has been a correspondent in Moscow and later in Washington. Torvalds is an author and co-writer of books about Russia and the Soviet Union.

Political activity[edit]

Torvalds was active in the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) since he was a college student in the 1960s. He was elected to the Central Committee of the SKP in 1982.[2] He belonged to the Taistoist (hardline) minority. His political beliefs changed after learning of the atrocities committed against communist sympathizers in Finland. In his son Linus' book, he is reported as having lost enthusiasm for Communism.

In 2007 Torvalds was elected to the post of the third vice chairperson of the Swedish People's Party.[3] In 2008, he was elected in Helsinki City Council for term 2009–2012.[4] Torvalds was a candidate for European Parliament election in 2009 on the Swedish People's Party list. He got 14,044 votes which was insufficient for a seat.[5] On July 5, 2012 he was installed in the European Parliament, after the resignation of Carl Haglund. As a MEP[6] he is vice-chair of the Fisheries committee (PECH) and member of the committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

He was re-elected in the 2014 election.


  • Ollus, Simon-Erik; Torvalds, Nils (2005). Kaupasta kumppanuuteen : Suomen Venäjä-talousstrategia. Helsinki: Sitra. ISBN 951-37-4519-8. 
  • Torvalds, Nils (2008). Muodonmuutoksia : Venäjän pitkä vuosisata 1900-2008. Helsinki: Sitra. ISBN 978-951-563-635-5. 

Linux kernel statement[edit]

Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux kernel joked during a LinuxCon keynote 18 September 2013, that the NSA, who is the founder of SELinux, wanted a backdoor in the kernel.[7] However later, Linus father, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), revealed that the NSA actually did this.[8]

When my oldest son [Linus Torvalds] was asked the same question: “Has he been approached by the NSA about backdoors?” he said “No”, but at the same time he nodded. Then he was sort of in the legal free. He had given the right answer, [but] everybody understood that the NSA had approached him.

—Nils Torvalds, LIBE Committee Inquiry on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens - 11th Hearing, 11 November 2013[9]


External links[edit]