Press release from New Democracy’s Spokesperson in the European Parliament – Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou MEP: “Greece has never made and will never make concessions when it comes to the rule of law.”
Regarding the launch of public consultation on a new draft bill entitled “Procedure for lifting the confidentiality of communications, Cybersecurity and Protection of Citizens’ Personal Data”, MEP and New Democracy’s Spokesperson in the European Parliament, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, stated:
“The Greek Government is consistent and complies fully with what it told the members of the PEGA Committee during their recent visit to Greece.
Greece now becomes the first country in Europe to prohibit using, trading, and possessing malicious surveillance software in its territory.
From the very first moment, our country cooperated closely with the competent European institutions, facilitating their work, unlike other Member States.
With the adoption of this particular bill, the framework for lifting privacy for national security reasons is fortified with institutional safeguards. Transparency and accountability are at the forefront of the proposed interventions in the functioning of the National Intelligence Service (EYP) and other state agencies.
Greece has never made and will never make concessions when it comes to the rule of law “.
The purpose of the draft bill is to modernize the process of lifting the confidentiality of communications by ensuring institutional safeguards, restructuring the EYP to optimize its action, the criminal treatment of trade, possession and use of monitoring software. In addition, the draft bill will upgrade the level of cybersecurity in the country and ensure the optimal integration into national law of the Directive to protect individuals against processing personal data.
- An Internal Audit Unit within the Ministry of Home Affairs will investigate corruption and breach of duty within the service.
- Only a diplomat or a retired high-ranking officer can be appointed as commander of EYP, and only civil servants can be appointed deputy commanders.
- Defines the concept of national security based on which surveillance may be requested. In this way, the action of the State agencies that invoke national security is delineated.
- A new process for surveilling political figures with stricter filters will be established. The request can be submitted by EYP only for imminent and highly possible threats to national security, with the permission of the Speaker of the Parliament and the agreement of two prosecutors.
- It is prohibited under penalty of imprisonment to possess or trade in malicious software. In addition, the using of spyware is deemed to be a felony and carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
- Citizens can request information regarding their privacy and if it has been breached for national security reasons after three years since the surveillance ended.
- The procedure for the destruction of surveillance files will be standardized. Content gathered through surveillance will be destroyed six months after the surveillance has ended. EYP’s file with the data that substantiated the request for surveillance will be destroyed after ten years. Currently, the law does not dictate the time or the means for the destruction of files.