On 16 December 2022, the Euractiv website published a report alleging that MEP Giorgos Kyrtsos and journalist Tasos Telloglou were placed under surveillance by the Greek Intelligence Service (EYP) on the grounds of national security. According to sources cited by the publication, the surveillance of Kyrtsos and Telloglou was discovered following an investigation by the Greek independent authority for communications privacy.
The surveillance of Mr.Telloglou also raises the issue of the protection of press freedom, particularly as it comes hot on the heels of revelations of the mass wiretapping of journalists under the pretext of threats to national security (1, 2, 3).This surveillance has been condemned as a threat to press freedom by domestic and international journalistic organisations, such as the Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Press Institute (IPI).
The national intelligence service, EYP, was brought under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister’s office after New Democracy won the 2019 elections. The Prime Minister’s nephew, Gregory Dimitriadis, was placed as the Prime Minister’s Secretary General and the political head of the National Intelligence Service.
Despite the constitutional guarantee of the absolute inviolability of the confidentiality of communications (Article 19(1) of the Constitution) and the protection of the freedom of the press (Article 14(2) of the Constitution), the surveillance of MEP George Kyrtsos and journalist Tasos Telloglou under the pretext of national security raises a serious doubts about the effective protection of the these constitutional rights.
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