Transparency committee to discuss phone tapping of PASOK-KINAL leader

The Hellenic Parliament Committee on Institutions and Transparency will meet behind closed doors on Friday to discuss allegations of a hacking attempt on his phone made by the leader of the socialist opposition party PASOK-KINAL, Nikos Androulakis.

Androulakis, leader of Greece’s third largest political party and MEP, on Tuesday filed a complaint Supreme Court Attorney after discovering an attempt to hack into his mobile phone using illegal Predator spyware.

Androulakis said that on September 21, 2021, he received a text message with a link to install Predator spyware, but he never clicked on it. He then sent his phone to the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which monitors the spyware industry, which confirmed the hacking attempt, as also claimed by the European Parliament’s cybersecurity service.

A parliamentary committee has called the head of the Hellenic Intelligence Service (EYP), Panagiotis Kontoleon, and the president of the independent Hellenic Communications Security and Privacy Authority (ADAE), Christos Rammos, to testify.

PASOK-KINAL, as well as the main opposition party SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, demanded on Wednesday that a committee be called immediately and the two officials questioned, calling the hacking attempt a “serious ethical and political issue.” This proposal was supported by other opposition parties.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis contacted Parliament Speaker Kostas Tasoulas on Thursday and asked the committee to meet as soon as possible.

In April of this year, a Greek prosecutor launched an investigation into the allegations of a CNN/Greece journalist Thanassis Koukakis about that his smartphone was infected with surveillance software during an operation by the country’s intelligence service.

Interestingly, an MP from the ruling New Democracy party told Contra TV and Skai TV on Thursday morning that “many people are tapping and monitoring phone calls for several reasons.” MP Babis Papadimitriou presented the phenomenon of phone tapping as normal and stated that the government is not obliged to protect citizens in this matter.” He addedthat “I’m sure the Americans, the Turks do it … both in Greece and everywhere.”

One question remains (rhetorical), why then did the European Parliament pass so many laws to protect the privacy of its citizens, if “everyone is listening.” However, let’s hope that the deputy made this statement personally on his own behalf, and not on behalf of his (ruling, by the way) party.

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