Reporters Without Borders calls for urgent Greek, EU action on spyware

Reporters Without Borders calls for urgent Greek, EU action on spyware

An international media NGO has called on the Greek authorities to investigate wiretapping allegations following reports that no fewer than 13 Greek journalists were targeted by the Predator spyware.

In a statement published on Wednesday, Reporters Without Borders called on “the Greek authorities to quickly carry out an independent investigation into this arbitrary surveillance and calls on European institutions to impose a moratorium on the use of spyware.”

“The shocking revelations about the arbitrary use of spyware against journalists by the Greek intelligence services is a stain on the country’s democracy,” said Pavol Szalai, head of RSF’s European Union and Balkans desk, adding that any investigation should be conducted in cooperation with Europol.

Julie Majerczak, RSF’s representative to the EU, said: “As the national authorities are suspected of being complicit in the surveillance and have been slow to react, the European Union needs to take swift and firm action to put an end to the use of spyware against journalists. To this end, we call for a moratorium on the sale, transfer, export and use of cyber-surveillance technology. We welcome the initial draft of the report by MEPs who are investigating the use of spyware, which proposes such a moratorium.”

RSF said that a parliamentary and judicial investigations into the allegations have “not been carried out in a rigorous manner.”

The NGO said it noted that a draft law to amend the procedures regulating surveillance “regretfully seems to allow a person who was under surveillance in the past to be informed only three years afterwards.” It said it would conduct an analysis of the draft in the light of its own recent recommendations for Greece’s surveillance legislation.

Noting recent reports that said 13 journalists from various media outlets were targeted by Predator, RSF said that “it has become clear the surveillance of journalists has been taking place on an unprecedented scale and many have been affected.”

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