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Prosecutor’s order reveals anonymity on the Internet

01 June 2011 / 16:06:19  GRReporter
4347 reads

Marina Nikolova

The deputy prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Greece Athanasios Katsirodis spoke in support of revealing the anonymity of bloggers when they upload threatening, blackmailing and insulting texts and images of children that make them victims of pornographic sites. His opinion supports the two previous statements on the same issue made by the former prosecutor of the Supreme Court Georgios Sanida and the present prosecutor Ioannis Tendes.

Katsirodis expressed his opinion after a request to reveal the confidentiality of communication and to allow data transmission to the competent authorities. The request was made by the department for prosecution of electronic crime at the Greek police related to the introduction of Directive on data retention 2008/24/ES in law 3917/2011.

In response to the police request, the deputy prosecutor issued an order 9 / 2011 that: "the competent judicial authorities (prosecutors, a preliminary investigation, investigation, etc.) may request the electronic communication service providers to submit data on persons committing various crimes (extortion, defamation, threat, insult, etc.) through malicious calls or messages, or on the Internet, without following the necessary procedure for a waiver of confidentiality." According to the statement, during an investigation or preliminary investigation after a prosecutor’s order, service providers are required to give details of individuals with electronic traces or who have committed criminal calls on the relevant date.

"As far as I understand, there will be control over who writes in the blog, so that people take their responsibility. This order would be applied in cases of crimes and in cases of spreading false news. Freedom of expression always has consequences, but this is not about freedom of expression in my opinion. Nobody can be condemned for his beliefs but it is different to insult and slander," expressed his opinion lawyer Leondopoulos from the Union of Lawyers, stressing that the Deputy Prosecutor’s position is not affecting the freedom of speech.

"I think that it is not right to insult and to discredit a person without submitting evidence and arguments and from this perspective I agree with the opinion," said the blogger Yannis C. but added that on the other hand, anonymity on the Internet provides freedom to express different views on political and other issues.

According to another blogger - Asterios, who is an activist on the Internet, such orders could lead to a serious restriction of the right of free expression. He said that according to the constitution, the Internet and phone communication is confidential and to write publicly is not the same as writing e-mails, and there must be protection. "There is concern about whether these tools will become tools for political prosecutions or matters of copyright at some point," said Asterios and clarified that such measures are damaging democracy, because there is not enough control over their implementation and the legal framework is problematic. The Union of Lawyers in Greece has not yet come out with an official statement on the matter.

For more information: (-γνωμοδοτήσεις, -9/2011)


Tags: NewsSocietyMedia newsInternetBlogBloggersCrime on the InternetFreedom of speechPolitics
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