Phone-tapping case exposes weaknesses

As the days pass in the wake of the mobile phone-tapping scandal, our current government’s weakness becomes increasingly clear as it has shown itself totally incapable of handling a major crisis. A similar thing happened with the Ocalan affair. No one wanted to handle the «hot potato» of the rebel Kurdish leader’s arrival in Greece and so no plan was drafted to take care of the situation. As a result, the leadership of the Foreign Ministry improvised, and Ocalan ended up at the Greek Embassy in Nairobi. But in the current phone-tapping case, there should have been a plan. A handful of people were in the know for about 11 months – it is a miracle that a lid was kept on the matter for so long – so the government had all that time to plan its moves. However, the lack of answers emerging from a press conference given by three ministers two weeks ago made one thing quite clear: If there had been any planning it was extremely inadequate as it had not taken into account the complexity of the affair. But, beyond the inadequacy of the political leadership and state authorities – which is creating a sense of insecurity among citizens, according to a recent poll – another worrying aspect of the phone-tapping scandal is the feeling that everyone and everything is subject to scrutiny. Indeed, technology may lend a sense of freedom, but it is actually an efficient tool for control and supervision. One needs only to consider the number of letters and telephone calls we get from banks and other firms as compared to a few years ago to realize how much more accessible our personal data have become.

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