Wiretapping scandal in Greece ends with record fine
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As a result of the scandal related to the wiretapping of phone conversations
of several Greek officials, including Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis,
during the period August 2004 – March 2005, Vodafone was fined by the Greek
privacy committee for not having protected its network against hacking
The Greek Prime Minister, other ministers, top military officials, human
rights activists, the police, army and intelligence heads, journalists and
lawyers were illegally monitored for almost a year by unknown hackers
through the Vodafone network. The action was discovered in March 2005 but
the hackers behind the wiretapping have not been discovered.
Vodafone was blamed by the Hellenic Authority for the Information and
Communication Security and Privacy for obstructing its investigation and
failing to report the installation of the surveillance software and
therefore fined it with 76 million euro.
Vodafone had deactivated the legal surveillance system used by the hackers
too soon to trace them.
The Greek unit of Vodafone considers the action as groundless and intends to
contest the decision at the independent committee of the Council of State,
Greece’s highest court of arbitration.
“Vodafone announced that it fully rejects the rationale of the authority and
considers the penalty illegal, unfair and totally groundless” stated
Vodafone’s Greek operation.
Vodafone also intends to verify the responsibility of the Swedish technology
equipment maker Ericsson in this matter.
The Greek Parliament is also investigating the circumstances of the senior
Greek Vodafone official’s death who was found hanged a little before the
illegal surveillance activities were discovered.
Greek privacy watchdog fines Vodafone over wiretapping scandal (14.12.2006)
EDRI-gram: Government communication illegally wiretapped in Greece