Greece bans spyware after Predator phone-tapping scandal | Media Pyro

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Image for article titled Greece Bans Spyware Sales After Massive Wiretapping Scandal

Photo: ANGELOS ZORCINIS/AFP (Getty Images)

After repeatedly denying allegations that it observed mobs of politicians and journalists use invasive listening to the phone software, the Greek government has decided to ban the sale of spyware within the country in general. But the government also wants everyone to know that this is in no way an admission of guilt and that he has definitely done nothing wrong, thank you very much.

“We will not allow any shadow to remain on the issues that are poisoning Greek society,” a government official told reporters on Monday.

Understanding Greek Spyware “Watergate” is a little more complicated and requires a little backtracking.

See suspicions about spying for government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis first arose back in July, when Nikos Androulakis, a Greek politician and member of the European Parliament, was identified as a target using mobile spyware known as “Predator.At the time, the government denied any wrongdoing and offered to investigate the incident. However, an the investigation established that the Greek intelligence service hadactually, tracked Androulakis, although the government denied using the Predator to do so. Prime Minister claimed that he was unaware of this surveillance activity and called it a “legal” but unethical operation.

Since then, a number of other politicians have found Predator traces on their phones, and the scandal now threatens to engulf the nation. It prompted investigation the Greek Parliament, as well as a number of resignations from senior bureaucrats in the Mitsotakis government, including himself head of intelligence. The administration has consistently denied using Predator, which is known for its ability to infiltrate and steal data from mobile devices.

This week’s left release Documento got up drama when he published a list of approximately 33 different politicians, journalists and business owners who were allegedly targeted by the spyware. The list, which was compiled after a the judicial investigation found traces of malware on the phones of the targets, includes a number of prominent government officials, including the foreign minister, the finance minister, two former civil defense ministers, the labor minister, the development minister and the tourism minister, as well as some family members of those bureaucracy. It is unclear why these are specific people were the objects of surveillance or what information was collected about them.

The government’s response to the allegations against him was largely to deny that he had done anything wrong. It also denied ever used or purchase spyware. This week, however, the government tried a slightly different tactic when it announced a blanket ban on the sale of spyware in Greece. Reuters reports that the recently announced ban will be formalized in a future legislative act.

Greece is not the only country it is currently facing Critics over its use spyware. It is the same throughout Europe scandals sow political chaos, sowing distrust between governments and their constituents. About half a dozen other EU members, incl UK, France, PolandSpain and Hungary are embroiled in surveillance disputes right now – it’s all about off-the-shelf tools that you can buy legally.

If Greece passes a ban on the use of spyware in the country, it would a step in the right direction for online privacy and securityalthough, of course, this is not the end of the story.

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