Legal framework

Surfing the Internet safely is a right

Surfing the Internet safely is a right

Freedom of speech, information, communication and development of one’s personality in general, as well as the protection of privacy are among the most fundamental rights of citizens, well-established in Art. 5A and 9A of the Constitution respectively.

The validation of these rights do not cease to exist while surfing online, as cyberspace is nothing less but an ideal world where safety of a user is of utmost importance. Since 2008 significant steps have been taken towards the modernization of the Greek legal framework as far as the under-aged internet users are concerned. The urge for sheltering the minors’ rights was so intense that lead to the conclusion of an agreement by the European Council for the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse, which was ratified and implemented by the Greek State in Act 3727/2008. This was followed by the European Directive 2011/93 / EU, which made Member States for the first time committed to protecting children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. This Directive was incorporated into Greek law by the Act. 4267/2014.

Lawmakers’ measures and adjustments

It is of great importance to verify to what extend Greek penal laws are applied in order to combat crime on the Internet. The answer to the above is given by lawmakers in Art. 5 of P.C. (Penal Code) where it is categorically stated: Hellenic penal laws are implemented to all acts committed in domestic territories, even by outlanders, as well as to any act described as a misdemeanor or capital offence by them and that was committed abroad by an inlander, if this act is considered to be punishable according to the laws of the country which was performed in (Art. 6 P.C). Furthermore, pursuant to Art. 7 of the Penal Code, Greek penal law also applies to outlanders for an act committed abroad and is characterized by them as a felony or misdemeanor, if this act is directed against a Greek citizen and is considered to be punishable according to the laws of the country which was performed.

In cases of crimes committed on the Internet, as a crime scene can be considered either the location where a web page was visited from, which practically means in any country with Internet access, or the location where an Internet Service Provider (ISP) hosts the web page in question. According to the Explanatory Memorandum of the new Penal Code, a criminal act committed via the Internet and directed against a citizen is prosecuted under the terms of Art.6 and 7. However, for serious forms of internet abuse, such as child pornography offenses, Greek penal laws apply to inlanders or outlanders, regardless of the place of performance.

In case of child pornography offense that originates abroad and immediate intervention of the Greek prosecuting authorities is impossible, this will be dealt mostly through cooperation between SafeLine and the relevant foreign hotlines. If necessary, unreserved cooperation between the Greek prosecuting authorities and their foreign counterparts (e.g. Europol and Interpol) is guaranteed in order for cyber rime to be prevented and repressed.

Do you want to make a report?

Make a report about content you encounter on the Internet that you consider illegal.