Editor's take/Albanians' private data at large in second scandal of leaking secrecy in few months

Prime Minister Edi Rama called on Wednesday on the Prosecution to thoroughly investigate thee publication of personal data, salaries and IDs of about 630,000 different citizens in Albania.

It is about the largest flow of information, which has to do with the monthly salaries of hundreds of thousands of Albanian citizens, who work in the private sector and public administration.

After distributing the list ofs thousands upon thousands of names of citizens employed in the private and public sector, which does not exclude the salaries of inspectors of the Intelligence Service, Army, Police and its agents, the Prosecution stated that it has started verifications for suspicions of leaking secrecy. personal in collaboration.

The full table has revealed materials that not only violate the privacy of ordinary individuals, but also risk identity theft or abuse in financial or banking networks.

The document with the salaries of the citizens is being distributed massively through the Whatsapp network and the Tik Tok platform and can be opened from any electronic device.

in a press conference, Rama said that, “I would like to talk about a very important decision we have taken regarding a new government initiative to increase and take to another level the interaction with the citizens, but today by considering the event of the release of whatsapp communication channels on payroll data, I am very clear that the initiative would be lost in your attention and in the meantime, the public will rightly know my position and that of the government regarding this sensitive issues."

Premie Rama apologized to all Albanians who are rightly concerned about the circulation of their salaries on social networks and underlined that this is an event that deserves to be thoroughly investigated. Rama called on law enforcement agencies, the prosecution to conduct this investigation to the best of their ability. "And on the other hand I want to share with the public that in my view, it is not difficult to see that here there is a not very difficult purpose to understandere -  to create confusion and to instill instability," he said.

He hinted that opposition might be behind this scheme. Rama said, “I want to clarify that here we are dealing with an intervention, which of course should be investigated to the end for its origin, but from the preliminary analysis, it looks much more like an intervention from internal infiltration and not from external infiltration, in the form of a cyber attack. Which also happens. We are neither the first nor the last, if you refer only to the last period of time. So let’s say, the years 2019-2020-2021. Such events have occurred in many countries with very high capacities of cyber defense, from the US, Russia, from Great Britain to Canada, and so on. And this is a new challenge of the time," Rama said.

TemA newspaper, pro-government daily, has provided the name of where this list came from, but that it is not necessarily the person who distributed it, experts  said.

From the analysis of the document distributed in the transfer comes a user named Moza Seraj who is allegedly the person in question as the creator of this file.

If confirmed, this would be the second time in a year that large amounts of citizens’ private data have entered the public domain.

In April 2021, a few days before the general elections in the country, a database with the private information of around 910,000 voters in Tirana was leaked to the media.

It was claimed that the database belonged to the ruling Socialist Party and was taken from state institutions and used for electoral purposes.

The database, which BIRN has seen, contained some 910,000 entries including names, addresses, birth dates, personal ID cards, employment information and other data.

The Socialist Party denied wrongdoing, insisting that the information was gathered in door-in-door surveys. SPAK has discontinued to deal with the case of so called patronazhists, SP hidden spies in April 25 elections called by Rama 'heroes' of the SP victory.

By will the Prosecution's investigators be capable to clarify what really happened and whether the list was distributed on purpose or everything will evaporate as in the first scandal?

/ Argumentum.al