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Malta - one of the most spied nations

You heard that right, The Guardian has revealed that Malta is one of the most spied nations by its own government, with 3,773 such requests processed last year alone. And these are the requests made just to one operator: Vodafone, which has roughly half the market share. The total number of requests made to all operators would approximately be double that figure. More details available on these links:

http://www.tvm.com.mt/news/malta-l-iktar-nazzjon-spjunat-fl-ewropa/

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140606/local/vodafone-lifts-lid-on-governments-phone-spying-capability.522183



In Malta, it is the Malta Secret Services which has direct access to such data, and it only requires the written consent of the Home Affairs Minister to carry out any such tapping. That means the written consent of the trustworthy and never-caught-in-a-lie Manuel Mallia (yes, it's called satire).

This is a serious issue of privacy and transparency. Why is such a high proportion of our population being spied upon? Why is our government making all these thousands of requests? And is this data being used only to fight criminality, or is it being shared for other purposes?

Quite a number of people before the last MEP election have told me that they have received Labour Party campaign messages within a few hours of buying new SIM cards (i.e. new mobile numbers), without having ever used the phone and before they even shared their number with family and friends. How is the Labour Party obtaining such data? What assurances can we have that government is not using its powers to infringe on our privacy?

Legislation which controls government powers in this area is in a serious need to be revised.


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