Press freedom in Greece, the birthplace of democracy, faces serious challenges. In recent years, media freedom in Greece has deteriorated significantly. During this period, Greece witnessed a crime reporter’s brazen daytime assassination, multiple arson attacks on media offices, numerous vexatious lawsuits against the press, and criminal charges against media outlets reporting on a major pharmaceutical scandal, among other incidents.

This podcast episode focuses on a significant attack on press freedom in Greece: the illegal surveillance of a journalist using spyware. We will discuss with reporter Thanasis Koukakis, who had his phone hacked using the advanced spyware tool, Predator. This marked the first confirmed case in the world of a journalist falling victim to this little-known hacking tool. Additionally, Koukakis was separately wiretapped by Greek security services on “national security” grounds.

Guest: Journalist Thanasis Koukakis.

Producer and Host: Ronja Koskinen, Press Freedom Officer at IPI.

Editor: Ronja Koskinen, Press Freedom Officer at IPI and Javier Luque, Head of Digital Communications at IPI.

Other episodes in this series:

MFRR in Focus: Reforming Croatia’s controversial draft media law

MFRR in Focus: Press freedom in Romania’s super electoral year

MFRR in Focus: Opposition wins Poland election

MFRR In Focus: How will the takeover of Polska Press in Poland impact the upcoming election?

MFRR in Focus: Ariane Lavrilleux and the case of source protection in France

MFRR in Focus: Engrained challenges for press freedom in Bulgaria

MFRR in Focus: UN Special Rapporteur on media freedom in Hungary ahead of election

MFRR in Focus: How do women journalists report on crisis situations?

MFRR In Focus: Pegasus spyware and media freedom in Europe

Related links:

Murdered, surveilled and sued: decisive action needed to protect journalists and salvage press freedom in Greece

Greece: MFRR alarmed by latest revelations of spying on journalists

Greece: Full scale of surveillance on journalists must be unearthed

Spyware and the surveillance of journalists in the European Union

Greece: The government must not cover up “Greek Watergate”

Greece: Journalist Thanasis Koukakis surveilled for 10 weeks with powerful new spyware tool

This podcast series is part of the MFRR in Focus project sponsored by Media Freedom Rapid Response, which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The MFRR is organised by a consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) including ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT).

For more in-depth podcast episodes about the state of press freedom in Europe, visit the MFRR website or search MFRR In Focus on your podcasts apps. The MFRR is co-funded by the European Commission.