Greece’s spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

By Glykeria Arapi

A surveillance scandal that has smouldered for almost a year erupted this week after the leader of Greece’s main opposition party filed a no-confidence motion against the government after a string of exposés that journalists and politicians were targeted with spyware and/or were under state surveillance.

The controversy began in March last year when digital rights group Citizen Lab told journalist Thanasis Koukakis that his phone had been under surveillance for ten weeks by powerful spyware called Predator.

Four months later, it emerged that Nikos Androulakis, the leader of opposition party Pasok-Kinal, had also been targeted with the same spyware.

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Greek Authorities Fine Spyware Firm Owned by Former Israeli Intel Officer

The Israeli owned spyware company has been ordered to pay 50,000 euros for failing to cooperate as part of an ongoing spyware investigation

The Personal Data Protection Authority in Greece issued on Monday a 50,000 euro fine to Israeli-owned spyware company Intellexa. The company, owned by former Israeli intelligence officer Tal Dilian, is accused of failing to cooperate with an ongoing investigation into the use of spyware in Greece.

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Greece police raid Israeli surveillance company’s offices

December 14, 2022

Greek police have raided the offices of an intelligence company owned by a former Israeli army intelligence officer, amid a scandal caused by its spyware targeting Greek opposition politicians, journalists and possibly civilians.

In the Greek capital Athens, the police conducted the evening raids on the offices of Intellexa and the homes of company executives, as well as the offices of five other companies including Krikel, an electronic security systems provider.

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This comes amid an ongoing wiretapping scandal in which Greece’s government and intelligence services have been embroiled over the past several months, following revelations that the ‘Predator’ spyware was found on the mobile and computer devices of prominent journalists and the leader a main opposition party, as well as dozens of ministers, military figures and business leaders.

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Shin Bet head said to visit Greece amid scandal over Israeli-made spyware

1 October 2022

Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar made a brief visit to Greece earlier this week, the Haaretz daily reported Saturday, amid a phone-hacking scandal with Israeli-made software that has roiled the local government.

Simmering since last year, the scandal exploded at the end of July when an opposition politician filed a legal complaint at Greece’s Supreme Court claiming attempted surveillance of his mobile phone via spyware known as “Predator” by the Greek intelligence service.

Citing unnamed security sources, Haaretz said Bar was secretly in Athens for a day on Wednesday, while Public Security Minister Omer Barlev was there on an official trip. Upon Bar’s return to Israel Thursday, he held a meeting with Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

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Europe’s got a big, creepy spyware problem – and it’s going unchecked