Vodafone fined £50m for wiretaps

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The Independent Online

A Greek privacy watchdog has fined Vodafone €76m (£50m) over a wiretapping scandal that involved the illegal monitoring of the Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

The committee ruled that the operator failed adequately to protect its network from unknown hackers who used a legitimate surveillance system to spy on top Greek officials at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Vodafone's Greek unit said it would challenge the decision in court.

The hackers targeted 106 Vodafone users, including Mr Karamanlis, as well as senior military officers, human rights activists and journalists, from just before the Games in August 2004 until March 2005. Investigators have not discovered who was behind the phone taps, but Vodafone was blamed for failing to protect its network.

The seven-member watchdog also plans to question the Swedish company Ericsson.