The Greek left-wing opposition SYRIZA party has alleged that the Greek National Intelligence Service used the illegal spyware program Predator to monitor a former Meta employee.
Artemis Seaford is a Greek-American woman who worked for social media company Meta, Facebook’s parent company, as a trust and safety manager. As part of her role, she held working relationships with Greek and other European officials.
During this time, Seaford lived in Greece from 2020 to the end of 2022.
According to a new report, illegal spyware software Predator was used to monitor Seaford at the same time as the Greek National Intelligence Service was also monitoring her.
Seaford’s phone was found to have been infected with the spyware when she clicked on a message she received that contained a link for her vaccination against COVID-19.
“Anyone, anywhere can fall prey to spyware hacking. I should know – I was a Predator target,” Seaford wrote on Twitter. “This does not make it normal. We need our governments and international bodies to protect us,” she continued.
The story of Seaford’s monitoring with spyware was first published by Greek media outlet Documento in November 2022.
In the report, Kostas Vaxevanis, journalist and publisher of Documento, published extensive lists of politicians, ministers, businesspeople, journalists and other individuals who had been placed under surveillance by the Greek National Intelligence Service. Seaford was included on that list, though the reasons for her being monitored by Greek authorities remains unclear.
In an article she wrote for Greek media outlet Kathimerini in November, Seaford expressed mild amusement at her being a target of surveillance.
“I am not an official of any party, a member of the press, or a business owner with close government connections,” she wrote.
According to reports, intelligence services began monitoring Seaford in August 2021, one month before her phone was infected with Predator spyware. The surveillance continued for several months into 2022.
The timing of Seaford’s Pegasus infection and monitoring by intelligence services “indicate that the spy service and whoever implanted the spyware, were working hand in hand.”
The conservative government, led by Mitsotakis, has denied any involvement in or responsibility for the spyware scandal.
“The Greek authorities and security services have at no time acquired or used the Predator surveillance software. To suggest otherwise is wrong,” government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou told reporters.
“The alleged use of this software by nongovernmental parties is under ongoing judicial investigation,” he added.
The Greek judiciary is carrying out an investigation of the use of Pegasus and other surveillance spyware. The European Parliament’s PEGA Committee has also commenced investigations.
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