Lebanon's Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahas has set up a technical team to map all communications networks in Lebanon, senior sources in Lebanon's Telecommunications Ministry said Tuesday to al-Akhbar, a newspaper associated with Hezbollah.
The move comes after an Israeli spy ring was discovered in Lebanon. According to Hezbollah, the alleged spies took advantage of the country's cell phone networks.
The aim of the new team is to identify "weak points" in the networks, both from a technical and a "human" point of view, which may enable Lebanon to be infiltrated like those arrested in the recent spy-ring affair have admitted to doing.
According to the same Ministry sources, the team will be assisted by experts from outside the Ministry and seek to "tighten the loose screws" within communications companies which had been under insufficient surveillance.
They also said that during his interrogation one of those arrested from the Alfa cell phone company had offered testimony which was far more dangerous to Lebanon that that of his colleague Charbel Azzi, who admitted to working for Israeli intelligence services.
The newspaper noted that Hezbollah continues to lead the effort against "Israeli aggression" via espionage in all areas of Lebanese life.
Any steps taken by the telecommunications minister will probably be coordinated with Hezbollah. During his latest speech last Friday, the organization's Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called for the death sentence for all those convicted of spying for Israel.
The new moves to crack down on alleged spying can be felt at ground level too. Lebanese sources told Ynet there is real fear that use of instant messaging programs like Skype with Israelis, even if it has no security implications, may come under Hezbollah surveillance.
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