As a special parliamentary committee investigation into the recent wiretapping nears a conclusion, the government has banned distribution of Predator-style surveillance software as part of a series of recommendations to strengthen institutional protections for surveillance. reportedly considering doing so.
The government has reportedly decided to move toward a complete ban on the buying and selling of such software between individuals, but strict transparency rules will be put in place for state procurement.
It is also considering whether the National Intelligence Service (EYP) will require the signatures of relevant ministers in addition to the two prosecutors, as it has in the past, to authorize surveillance of politicians.
The plan also includes restoring the right of observables to be notified and to be accounted for precisely. Moreover, “national security” cannot be activated indefinitely.
Consideration is also being given to significantly enhancing the oversight role of the Communications Privacy Authority. Under the current system, only the monitored person’s phone number reaches the authorities. A new legislative initiative will reportedly provide for notifying authorities of the names of persons being monitored.
The wiretapping occurred in early August after it emerged that PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis’ phone was tapped by EYP. The government claimed the wiretapping, which began in September 2021 and lasted three months, was legal, but did not give a reason, citing national security reasons.
In any case, the latest polls show that despite the political turmoil it has caused, the surveillance incident does not appear to affect voter choices in next year’s election.
This was evident in Skai TV’s Pulse poll conducted before and after the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) earlier this month. Prior to the TIF, respondents categorized the following issues as important: rising prices at 84%, energy at 82%, relations between Greece and Turkey at 67%, and phone tapping at 50%. The ranking remained unchanged after TIF and the corresponding percentages remained roughly the same at 83%, 79%, 65% and 51%.
https://www.ekathimerini.com/news/1194050/new-surveillance-framework-planned/ A new monitoring framework is planned | eKathimerini.com