Commission: Illegal access to citizens' data is unacceptable

The European Commission expects the national authorities of all EU member states to thoroughly examine surveillance cases.

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The European Commission expects member states' national authorities to thoroughly investigate surveillance cases to restore public confidence, Home Affairs Spokesperson Anita Hipper said today.

Asked about the surveillance case in Greece, during the Commission's regular briefing to the press, Mrs. Hipper answered the following:

“We are aware of media reports about the use of surveillance by some governments. Our position is clear. Any attempt by national security agencies to illegally access data of citizens, including journalists and political opponents, if confirmed, is unacceptable. Member States are responsible for protecting their national security and must supervise and control their security services to ensure that they fully respect fundamental rights.

This is absolutely essential to ensure the protection of personal data and the safety of journalists and freedom of expression. It is also the responsibility of each EU Member State to investigate such matters and the Commission expects national authorities to thoroughly investigate any such allegation in order to restore public confidence."

Finally, the representative of the Commission stated that the Commission is in contact with all member states on this issue.