The Pega conclusion on wiretapping was voted on: what is being asked of Greece?

By | May 8, 2023

“Spyware…is used as a tool for political power and control in the hands of the country’s top political leaders.”

The report by the European Parliament’s PEGA Commission to investigate the use of Pegasus software and related spy-tracking software, which was voted on today in the European Parliament, leaves open the possibility of sanctions.

Relentlessly critical, PEGA writes of “a very disturbing story of a complex and opaque web of relationships, political and business interests, favor and nepotism and political influence,” noting that “spyware…is used as a tool of political power and control in the hands of the highest political leadership of the country’, which has weakened the control mechanisms to facilitate the monitoring and illegal intimidation of those who criticize or combat corruption and fraud.

In fact, the report points to the government of Greece, writing that since it denies purchasing the Predator84 spyware, then it should have ordered a police investigation into the offense under Greek law of (attempted) hacking into Koukakis and Androulakis’ phones. . by a non-state body, something that has not happened to date, since only tax investigations are carried out as a result of the complaints.

In the center is the Greek government.

Further, citing the close connections and interdependencies between certain people and events related to the government, the FSA, and spyware vendors, in particular Krikel, a preferred supplier of surveillance and communications equipment to, among others, the police and the FSA, PEGA notes that Krikel is closely connected to people around Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Yiannis Lavranos allegedly owns 50% of Krikel, through another company called Mexal91, writes the draft decision, for the man who has been revealed since the scandal broke trading in security systems and doing business with the Ministry of Citizen Protection.

The PEGA Commission concludes that infringements and maladministration have occurred in Greece in the application of Union law and proposes ten measures, including the involvement of Europol in investigations.

The 10 meters requested by PEGA

Specifically, the PEGA Committee urges Greece to proceed with the following actions:

  • Urgently restore and strengthen institutional and legal safeguards, including effective ex ante and ex post controls, as well as independent oversight mechanisms.
  • Urgently revoke all export licenses that do not fully comply with the dual-use regulation and investigate allegations of illegal exports, including to Sudan.
  • Ensure that authorities can freely and unhindered investigate all allegations of spyware use.
  • Urgently withdraw reform 826/145 of law 2472/1997, which suppressed the possibility for the AADE to inform citizens about the lifting of communications secrecy.
  • Restore the full independence of the judiciary and all competent control bodies, such as the Ombudsman and data protection authorities, to guarantee full cooperation and access to information by all control bodies and the provision of complete information to all victims.
  • Reverse the 2019 legislative amendment that placed the EYP under the direct control of the prime minister.
  • Urgently implement the directive on public interest witnesses.
  • Ensure the independence of the leadership of the National Transparency Authority (AND).
  • Immediately launch a police investigation into alleged spyware abuse and seize physical evidence from proxies, brokerage firms, and spyware vendors linked to spyware infections.
  • Invite Europol to join the investigations immediately.

The full draft decision of the Pega Commission of Inquiry on the use of the Pegasus software and the corresponding spyware monitoring software can be read at the following link

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