State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Accountability & Transparency

Kostas Vaxevanis, the editor of the magazine Hot Doc, was charged with violating Greece's data protection law.  Vaxevanis published the names of about 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts. The names were known as the “Lagarde list” because they were given by Christine Lagarde, who is now the International Monetary Fund chief.   Vaxevanis defended his action by saying his data came from a reliable source and that it was public interest to be released.  Being that Greece is already in international spotlight for being a country in debt, this lack of supervision of its citizen’s shows mismanagement.  Suspicions are high in Greece that some of those named in the list may have opened the accounts to avoid paying taxes to the Greek state.  The information of the owners of the Swiss bank accounts should have been kept private and the owners investigated by the Greek government.  This is a form of external whistleblowing because the account holder’s names were publically released without the problem being handled by the Greek government.  Personally, I see no ethical issue using someone’s personal phone to gain evidence against them if they were guilty of a crime or being accused of one.

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