Fresh data on phone tapping

A day before Vodafone CEO Giorgos Koronias is scheduled to testify to Parliament on the tapping of state mobile phones, the country’s communications privacy watchdog yesterday revealed that different phone numbers in a larger area were also involved in the surveillance. The Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE) report, which has been submitted to a parliamentary committee, indicates that Vodafone and Ericsson gave conflicting information to authorities. The two companies have been at the center of the eavesdropping affair, which has become a national issue because the phones of the prime minister and several top government officials were among those tapped. The report also says three digital phone centers were installed with the software designed for eavesdropping instead of just the two centers previously announced. «The fact that there was a third center increases the geographic coverage of the area being monitored,» the report said. The ADAE report raises questions about why this information was not immediately released and who withheld it from initial investigations. The conservative government has been accused of being slow to act on the phone-tapping affair and of trying to cover it up. Koronias is a key figure in the case and is expected to be bombarded with questions today from MPs who are keen to win some political points from the incident. Meanwhile, Vodafone said yesterday that Koronias’s duties will be broadened and will include business development in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Press reports speculated over whether the Vodafone chief’s new duties meant a promotion or reassignment out of Greece.