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Interview to AL HAYAT

Interview to AL HAYAT When Internet laws entered officially in Greece? The first enactment that explicitly referred to e-communications must be of the 90’s. The last five years we have a lot of great laws on online communications, mostly from EU legislation. But I wouldn’t say this is the first time that legislation referring to the internet is applied. And that is because when online the same laws apply as in every other aspect of our lives. The nature of a crime isn’t altered according to where it’s being committed. So, a threat remains a threat even if it happens via the telephone or online or in person. Consequently you understand that the Civil and Penal Code and the Constitution are still valid when it comes to the Internet, even without specialization. How active are they? Totally active. Greek justice and jurists make sure they are active. Do they offer adequate protection for internet users? Each time they protect those in need of protection. Not only users, but citizens as well. Laws must be constructed in accordance with the common interest. Not just to serve particular groups of people or to let others without protection. At this point I should note that almost 90% of the Greek internet laws come from EU laws. This means that they weigh interests and protect users not only in a national but in a European level. How do authorities keep control of various circuits that use the internet for illegal purposes? With the methods that modern technology offers. Technology can well be used to commit crimes but also to find the culprits. Internet and children. At what extent are children protected online? As much when they play unguarded on the streets. When there is no supervision and close contact of a child with its parent, any protection will prove insufficient. Big companies that develop software take children a lot into consideration, and develop the appropriate tools that help parents to guide and control their children. Even companies that construct games, which have been accused innumerous times for children’s addiction to the internet, include special parental settings in their games so parents can control their children. Certainly though children are exposed to vast amount of information online, this apart from being useful can be wasteful or harmful, and at times illegal. It is the same children that are exposed to endless amounts of violence through television and cinema and in various forms, that can also be harmful, but I do not see parents to be worried about it. Protecting a child online is a matter of education on this tool and of proper parental supervision dependant of its age and needs. What do you think on the penalties on child pornography in the Internet? I will not be the judge of the penalties set by the legislator. I trust its reasoning. I am more concerned of the treatment of pedophiles only as criminals and not as mentally ill as they are, and with the ease that mass media allocate charges and raise tones, presenting often Greece as a cave of pedophiles, while in reality there has been no final conviction on the matter. I am also very concerned of the ambition of police authorities, which in order to serve a law break several others, and of the fear, ignorance, and the immeasurable workload of judges that make them decide hastily on matters so difficult that they often required special and technical knowledge. Pornography is a “hot” topic among mass media lately, but it is not the only crime referring to children. I do not see the same interest on kidnapping, trafficking of women and children, illegal adoptions and many more. As a lawyer, what is your regard on the influence of the internet to children? I do not think that lawyers are the right sector to answer this question. Laws regulate, do not explain. Each legislator must take into consideration the opinions of other specialties and regulate social conduct accordingly. Internet and Society. At what extent has the knowledge of Internet Science been incorporated in the country’s judiciary system? For the time being, I do not see any change. Courts, with few exceptions, are not computerized, most judges still handwrite and this means that they have no idea what a computer is or the Internet. In Athens’ Law School there is an elective course of Legal Informatics, but the majority of the judiciary which has to decide on several cases that have to do with the Internet, has no special knowledge on the matter; they do not even get the terms. The meaning of “chat”, “forum”, “social network”, is unknown to the most. Do you think that Greek society is protected by the effects of the internet? Do you think that Greek society uses adequately the Internet? Is the access sufficient and affordable? How can we discuss about the effects of something that is not used by the whole country? Have you any idea if the countryside has access to broadband connections? Islands? Are the prices of obtaining an internet service for a citizen and his children affordable? Does the public sector operate in an electronic way? And to answer your question I must admit that Greek society is far more concerned with the implications of internet than with the ones of television.