NEWS

Spying details unveiled

The Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE) points the finger at Vodafone and Ericsson employees for the installation of an unauthorized eavesdropping system in the former’s mobile telecommunications network in a report sent on Wednesday to Parliament and judicial authorities. The report, submitted after a four-month investigation, describes how the software was installed and the eavesdropping took place but does not name those responsible, estimating that a judicial investigation will do that. The main report describes an extensive international network that prepared and conducted the eavesdropping operation targeting both government officials and private citizens. A classified document not included in the report, but which was submitted to a prosecutor charged with the case, contains the most important findings, namely: – The 82 suspect mobile phones belonging to subscribers of all four mobile telephony operators in Greece (Vodafone, Cosmote, TIM and Q-Telecom) that communicated with the so-called «shadow cell phones» used for eavesdropping; – The names of the 33 Vodafone employees who had access to the company software; – The names of a Vodafone employee and of an employee of telecommunications company Ericsson, which provided Vodafone with its software. The two allegedly entered into software applications in one of Vodafone’s digital centers without authorization in February 2005. The eavesdropping operation, according to ADAE, started in June 2004. The illegal software was planted in Vodafone’s network on August 10, 2004, three days before the start of the Athens Olympics, ADAE says. The 14 «shadow cell phones» that conducted the eavesdropping were coordinated through messages they received from the US, Great Britain, Sweden, Australia, India and the INMARSAT global maritime network. The software was either planted by people who broke into four Vodafone call centers or by hackers, ADAE says.