More firms in privacy row

Four fixed-line telecommunications firms, including partly state-owned OTE telecom, face charges of harboring a criminal and withholding information after failing to supply an Athens prosecutor with details of customers alleged to have sent threatening or disparaging messages to other users by text message or in blogs. Prosecutor Yiannis Sakellakos took action against OTE, Hellas Online, Tellas and Forthnet just a few days after similar charges were lodged against mobile phone firm Cosmote for failing to supply the details of customers alleged to have sent threatening text messages to other users. According to sources, the same prosecutor is also considering bringing charges against the Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE) for being a moral accomplice. ADAE is alleged to have advised Cosmote and the fixed-line telecoms firms against providing the prosecutor with customers’ details, as this would constitute a violation of privacy rights. The four firms are said to have appealed to the Justice Ministry to intervene in the dispute.