Ericsson fined over Olympic phone tap scandal

Don't tap the PM's phone...

Ericsson has been hit with a €7.36m ($10m) fine for its role in tapping mobile phones belonging to the Greek prime minister and members of his Cabinet.

The Greek privacy watchdog levied the fine for Ericsson's part in tapping phones belonging to 100 senior government figures in the run up to the 2004 Athens Olympics. Calls to these mobiles were diverted to 14 shadow pay-as-you-go phones and probably recorded.

The Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) said the fine was set based on Ericsson's turnover in Greece.

Vodafone was previously fined over €76m ($100m) for its role in the scandal but protested its innocence. The operator was blamed for allowing hackers to gain control of a piece of Ericsson surveillance software. Vodafone's Greek head of network design supposedly killed himself two days after the phone tapping was publicly revealed.

The problem came to light after Vodafone began investigating problems with delivering text messages.

The case sparked speculation that foreign intelligence services were involved.

Ericsson told Reuters that it disputed the decision and would appeal it in the Greek courts.

More from AFP here and from Reuters here.

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