Transparency committee to hold closed-door meeting on phone hacking allegation

Transparency committee to hold closed-door meeting on phone hacking allegation

The Greek Parliament’s Committee on Institutions and Transparency will meet in a closed-door session on Friday to discuss the allegations of an attempted phone bugging made by socialist opposition PASOK party leader Nikos Androulakis.

Androulakis, leader of Greece’s third-largest political party and a member of the European Parliament, lodged a complaint on Tuesday with senior court prosecutors after he discovered an attempt to tap his mobile phone using the illegal surveillance spyware Predator. He was informed of the bugging by a cyber security service provided by the European Parliament.

The committee has summoned the head of the Greek Intelligence Service (EYP), Panagiotis Kontoleon, and the president of the independent Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE), Christos Rammos, to give testimony, while the session will also be attended by State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis and Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis.

Both main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance and the PASOK-KINAL party demanded on Wednesday that the committee be immediately convened and question the two officials, calling the hacking attempt a “major ethical and political issue.” The proposal was also backed by the other opposition parties.

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

Androulakis revealed that he received a text message on September 21, 2021, with a link that would have installed the spyware Predator, but he never clicked on it. He then sent his phone to Toronto University’s Citizen Lab, which tracks the spyware industry, which confirmed the attempt. 

In April this year, a Greek prosecutor began an investigation into an allegation by a journalist that his smartphone had been infected by surveillance software in an operation by the country’s intelligence service.

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