‘How Many?’ Greek Spyware Scandal Just Getting Started, Says Targeted Reporter

Suspicions confirmed

Koukakis's account of his run-in with Predator reads like the script of a Hollywood thriller. Only this is not fiction.

A financial editor at CNN Greece and contributor to, among others, CNBC and The Financial Times, Koukakis has reported extensively on Greek banks, ruffling his fair share of feathers in the Mitsotakis government through his coverage in 2020 and 2021 of controversial changes to the Greek criminal code, money laundering legislation and tax regulations that critics said were a step back in the fight against banking malpractice and tax evasion.

"We reported all this in extensive reports, which provoked the reaction of the government, which sent a letter of protest to the Financial Times through Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis," said Koukakis.

"These reports made me a target and motivated the government and the prime minister's office, which control the National Intelligence Service, to start monitoring me," he told BIRN, disputing Mitsotakis's own denial that he spied on anyone.

Koukakis suspected something was going on in 2020, when his iPhone began playing up. Calls were being interrupted and the battery-life seemed too short. He contacted sources he had developed as a journalist and asked if he was under surveillance. The response was: 'Yes'.

Shocked, Koukakis complained to the relevant watchdog, the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy, ADAE, but was made to wait a year for a reply.

In the meantime, in March 2021, the government amended the law to withdraw from the ADAE the authority to notify individuals if their right to communications privacy had been lifted, effectively allowing authorities to withhold information from people...

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