Greece To Ban Spyware Amid Phone-Tapping Scandal

Image copyright: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • The Greek government is set to ban the sale of all spyware in the country amid an ongoing scandal over alleged phone tapping. Greece's PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeatedly denied claims that he's behind any illicit surveillance, but the government has confessed to legal wiretapping practices.

  • On Monday, Mitsotakis said: "We will be the first country to tackle this problem and enact legislation that will explicitly ban the sale of such software in our country." He also stated, "all countries have the same problem."

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

There's no evidence to substantiate these politically motivated allegations and nothing at all to connect them with the PM. It's a poor reflection on the state of Greek politics that professional extortionists are accusing the leader of the country of illicit surveillance of his own ministers.

Establishment-critical narrative

Mitsotakis' refusal to address these allegations head-on is casting a cloud over the future of Greek democracy. For events like these to potentially have been ordered by government leaders is undemocratic and illegal. Furthermore, the failure of Greek media to adequately cover this scandal is disgraceful. These allegations demand resolution through independent inquiry and the PM himself.

Cynical narrative

Even if Greece resolves this issue domestically, the problem of spyware and illicit surveillance is prevalent throughout Europe. Many countries, including the UK, France, Poland, Spain, and Hungary, have all been shaken by similar controversies. Although a ban on the sale of spyware would be a positive step, it will be far from the end of the story.

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