Vodafone Greece hit by a 19.1 million euro fine

I was a tad surprised to hear yesterday that Vodafone's Greek operation had been hit by a 19.1 million euro fine for allowing its network to be used by phone tappers.

According to newswire reports, the network allowed the illegal monitoring of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' mobile to take place during the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The Hellenic Telecoms and Post Commission reckons that Vodafone had breached Greek law on the privacy of telecommunications and consumer protection.

Karamanlis and other senior officials, as well as senior military officers, human rights activists and journalists, were among 106 Vodafone users targeted by unknown hackers from just before the August 2004 Games until March 2005.

What's really interesting about the ruling is that the regulator said that Vodafone had breached obligations contained in its operator's license on "securing the privacy of telecommunications" and on network maintenance and security.

To this day, no-one has discovered who carried out the phone taps, but some sources suggest that foreign intelligence services were involved - even if no-one seems to have kohones to accuse such agencies over the affair...