Greece’s surveillance scandal: Is anybody listening?
Since the summer, a surveillance scandal has been gripping Greece. It emerged that the leader of Greece’s third party, PASOK, was being spied on by the country’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) but that there had also been an attempt to install spyware on his mobile phone.
Over the last few weeks, there have been further revelations about the use of wiretapping in Greece. Lists of dozens of alleged targets have been published in the local media, fuelling a clash between the centre-right government and the opposition.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis claims he knows nothing about the illegal phonetapping and that under his watch the Greek state has not bought or deployed the Predator malware that is at the centre of the scandal, which goes to the heart of Greece’s institutions and democracy.
Official investigations into the matter have left much to be desired, while much of the mainstream media has played down or ignored the issue. In fact, much of what we know today about illegal phone hacking in Greece is the result of the persistence of a few journalists at small and independent outlets.
In this episode of The Agora, we try to explain what’s happened, what it means and what might lie ahead.
To help us understand this complex story, we speak to journalist Thanassis Koukakis. He was the first known victim of Predator and spent months trying to find out more about the use of spyware and sharing this information with the public.
We also speak to Nikolas Leontopoulos, the co-founder of Reporters United, a collective of investigative journalists that have been probing the surveillance story from its early days along with other media, such as Inside Story and Solomon, before larger outlets started covering developments.
European Parliament’s PEGA committee