NEWS

Greek privacy watchdog seeks more scope

TAGS: Politics

The president of the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) has called for changes to the legal framework so that it can also monitor private surveillance mechanisms.

At the moment ADAE has the authority to monitor the surveillance networks of three state agencies – the national intelligence agency (EYP) and the two police authorities: the Counterterrorism Department and the Directorate for Information Management and Analysis of the Greek Police (ELAS).

“ADAE cannot control private surveillance networks within Greece. It is not provided by law. The legislative provision stipulates that ADAE is to monitor EYP and the two police authorities,” ADAE president Christos Zambiras told Parliament’s transparency committee Thursday.

He added that the state must do more to support the authority’s work. “While we have made proposals for the modernization of the institutional framework – the laws and the presidential decrees on the basis of which the ADAE operates – so far it has not been possible to carry out the necessary legislative initiatives for the modernization of the institutional framework,” he said.

Zambiris also bemoaned ADAE’s shortage of staff and highlighted the need for more financial resources.

Echoing similar sentiments, ADAE vice president Michalis Sakkas stressed that in the two years he has been at the authority he has been under the impression that “some powers – not aliens – don’t want the authority to be fully operational.” If there are private networks out there, ADAE cannot monitor them, he added.

“The request is for you, the legislators, to intervene with the executive from time to time, in order to strengthen ADAE with people and money, otherwise we will not have what we want,” he told the parliamentary committee.

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