Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 43 | 44 || 46 | 47 |   ...   | 85 |

Despite a large turnout, however, the bill was ultimately approved.30 Separately, the surveillance potential of social-networking sites was highlighted in March 2010, when Facebook usage by a wanted organized crime suspect enabled police to locate and arrest him.Given the polarization and heated discourse in Italian politics, some content on social-networking platforms has been aggressive enough to potentially incite violence. In 2009, fan pages for imprisoned Mafia bosses emerged, as did a Facebook group called Lets Kill Berlusconi.32 The original creators of the group, which quickly grew to tens of thousands of followers, maintained that it was not to be taken at face value, but was rather a provocation for those who were fed up with the premier.33 In another case, a group was created in support of Massimo Tartaglia, a mentally ill man who struck Berlusconi with a statuette in December 2009, causing injuries to his teeth and nose; the Facebook fan page for Tartaglia gained nearly 100,000 followers in under 48 hours. Meanwhile, several other groups arose with the aim of defending the prime minister. The two factions went on denouncing each other on the web for some time. In response, Italian officials contacted Facebook, which ultimately decided to remove the groups.

VIOLATIONS OF USER RIGHTS Freedoms of speech and the press are constitutionally guaranteed and generally respected despite ongoing concerns regarding concentration of media ownership, particularly Berlusconis control over both public and private media assets.34 The constitution also Bloggers Organize No Berlusconi Day Protest, France 24, December 5, 2009, http://www.france24.com/en/20091205bloggers-silvio-no-berlusconi-day-protest-italy-prime-minister-corruption; Bernardo Parrella, Italy: Online Activism Fires Up No Berlusconi Day, Global Voices, November 17, 2009, http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/11/17/italy-online-activismfires-up-no-berlusconi-day/. The movements website can be found at http://www.noberlusconiday.org/.

Italian Students Demonstrate Against Education Reforms, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), December 22, 2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12058434.

Ann Wise, Mafia Boss Betrayed by Facebook, American Broadcasting Company (ABC), March 17, 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/International/facebook-finds-mafia-boss/storyid=10124958&page=1.

Eric Sylvers, Facebook to Monitor Berlusconi Content, New York Times, December 15, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/technology/internet/16iht-face.html.

Probe Into Kill Berlusconi Call, BBC, October 22, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8320333.stm.

Karin Karlekar, ed., Italy, in Freedom of the Press 2010 (New York: Freedom House, 2010), http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfmpage=251&year=2010.

ITALY FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net contains provisions protecting confidentiality of correspondence,35 and Italy is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and relevant international treaties. In recent years, the executive branch has been accused of trying to extend the control it wields over the television sector to the internet. This is partly because key individuals in the current government are very familiar with broadcast media, but surprisingly unfamiliar with the internet, including the prime minister and Vice Minister for Communications Paulo Romani.36 Initial drafts of legislation introduced in recent years with the aim of regulating new media have drawn too heavily on the parallel with television, generating provisions that are inappropriate for the more interactive medium of the internet. For example, the draft version of the Romani decree, described above, would have crippled a range of websites with its heavy restrictions on video content.37 However, after strong opposition by internet NGOs, users, and private business associations, the government amended the decree before final approval.

Defamation remains a criminal offense in Italy, punishable by prison terms ranging from six months to three years,38 and a minimum fine of 516 (US$670).39 In the case of libel through the press, television, or other public means, there is no prescribed maximum fine.40 Though these provisions are rarely applied, civil libel suits against journalists are a common occurrence, including by public officials. In 2009, the prime minister sued multiple domestic and international media companies, accusing them of defaming him through their coverage of his private life.41 Although 8 out of 10 defamation cases are reportedly decided in favor of the journalists, the financial burden of lengthy legal An English copy of the constitution is available at http://www.senato.it/documenti/repository/istituzione/costituzione_inglese.pdf. See especially Articles 15 and 21.

The prime ministers mispronunciation of Googles name during a press conference was seen as a sign of unfamiliarity with the basics of the internet. See Berlusconi inciampa su Google;

E chiama Gogol il motore di ricerca [Berlusconi Trips Over Google; The Search Engine Is Called Gogol], Il Corriere della Sera, May 20, 2010, http://www.corriere.it/politica/10_maggio_19/berlusconi-google-gogol_db608a2c-6346-11df-8b6300144f02aabe.shtml (in Italian). Romani is a former freelance journalist with a background that is heavily skewed toward broadcasting and television.

Giorgio Pontico, In Italia Internet arranca [In Italy Internet Limps], Punto Informatico, April 1, 2010, http://puntoinformatico.it/2846003/PI/News/italia-internet-arranca.aspx (in Italian).

Dana Kennedy, Knoxs Parents Are Just the Latest to Run Afoul of Italys Libel Laws, AOL News, February 16, 2011, http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/16/amanda-knoxs-parents-are-just-the-latest-to-run-afoul-of-italy/.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, Libel and Insult Laws: A Matrix on Where We Stand and What We Would Like to Achieve (Vienna: OSCE, 2005), 79, http://www.osce.org/fom/41958.


Javier Espinoza, Berlusconis Libel Lawsuits, Forbes, August 28, 2009, http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/28/berlusconilegal-action-markets-equities-libel.html; Tg1, Minzolini attacca la manifestazione: Libert di stampa in pericolo Assurdo [Tg1, Minzolini Attacks the Event: Freedom of the Press in Danger Absurd], La Repubblica, October 3, 2009, http://www.repubblica.it/2009/10/sezioni/politica/liberta-stampa-2/minzolini-editoriale/minzolini-editoriale.html (in Italian). See also, for example, Fini querela il Giornale: delirio diffamatorio. Ma il quotidiano conferma il nuovo affondo [Fini il Giornale Complaint: Defamatory Delerium. But the Daily Confirms the New Thrust], Il Sole 24 Ore, August 13, 2010, http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/notizie/2010-08-13/fini-querela-giornale-casa-114119.shtml (in Italian); Paolo Bracalini, Grillo e Di Pietro contro le querele. Degli altri [Grillo and Di Pietro Against Lawsuits. Of Others], Il Giornale, August 13, 2009, http://www.ilgiornale.it/interni/grillo_e_di_pietro_contro_querele_degli_altri/13-08-2009/articolo-id=373848page=0-comments=1 (in Italian).

ITALY FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net proceedings produces a chilling effect. Libel suits against bloggers and other online writers remain relatively rare. However, in May 2006, blogger Roberto Mancini was convicted of defamation and instructed to pay a fine of 13,500 (US$17,500). Using the pseudonym General Sukhov, Mancini had apparently posted several articles on his blog that criticized local figures. Reporters Without Borders claimed that Mancini was punished not only for using bad language in his posts, but also for comments posted on the blog by his readers.In early 2010, a draft law commonly known as the wiretap bill was introduced in Parliament by Justice Minister Angelino Alfano. The bills proponents said it aimed to address concerns over the right to privacy and the problem of news media regularly publicizing wiretap information that is leaked to them. However, several provisions appeared to threaten media freedom and the right of the public to access independent information. Though it primarily applied to traditional media, aspects of the proposal would also affect online media. For example, accredited journalists who recorded or filmed an individual without his or her permission would face fines of up to 10,000 (US$13,000) and as many as 30 days in jail, and other individuals who violated the rule, potentially including citizen journalists and bloggers, could be fined up to 464,700 (US$602,600) and spend as much as four years in prison. Another provision would restrict the publication of documents related to court proceedings or police investigations prior to the beginning of a trial. The release of leaked wiretap information would lead to heavy financial penalties for publishers and jail for journalists. The bill would also oblige websites, like print publications, to issue corrections within 48 hours of receiving notice of an error, or risk a fine of up to 25,(US$32,000). That provision would apply to any information websites, in addition to online news outlets.43 The legislations treatment of online platforms, including blogs, in a similar manner to print media could result in a requirement that they legally register as newspapers do.In June 2010, the bill was adopted by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, which made amendments and returned it to the lower chamber. Both the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europes representative on freedom of the media and the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression called on Italy to drop the wiretap bill or revise it to bring it in line with international standards.45 In the wake of such international criticism Reporters Without Borders, A Blogger Unfairly Convicted of Defamation, news release, June 20, 2006, http://en.rsf.org/italy-a-blogger-unfairly-convicted-of-20-06-2006,18068.html.

Arianna Ciccone, Italy: Liability Risk for Bloggers Global Voices Advocacy, July 27, 2010, http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2010/07/27/italy-a-bill-to-censor-the-internet/.

Barbara Trionfi and Anthony Mills, Press Freedom in Italy: Between Political Influence & Conflicts of Interest (Vienna: International Press Institute, 2010), http://www.freemedia.at/fileadmin/media/Documents/IPI_mission_reports/Italy_Mission_Report_2010_FINAL.pdf.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, OSCE Media Freedom Representative Urges Italy to Amend Bill on Electronic Surveillance, news release, June 15, 2010, http://www.osce.org/fom/69428.

ITALY FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net as well as advocacy by local groups, the bill had reportedly been put on hold as of November 2010.Monitoring of personal communications is permissible only if a judicial warrant has been issued, and widespread technical surveillance is not a concern in Italy. Nevertheless, the countrys authorities are known for engaging in a large number of wiretaps.47 According to 2006 figures from the German think-tank the Max Planck Institute, Italy leads the world in terms of wiretaps, with 76 intercepts per 100,000 people.48 By other official estimates, roughly 100,000 wiretaps are carried out each year.49 Wiretapping is generally restricted to cases involving ongoing legal proceedings, except for terrorism investigations. In such instances, since 2001, pre-emptive wiretapping may occur even if no formal prosecutorial investigation has been initiated. More lenient procedures are also in place for Mafia-related investigations.In March 2008, Parliament approved a law (No. 48 of 2008) that ratified the Council of Europes Convention on Cybercrime, which established how long internet-related communication data should be retained.51 This matter was further refined with the inclusion in the Italian legislative system of the 2006 EU Data Retention Directive.52 Under the current legal framework, ISPs must keep users traffic recordsthough not the content of communicationsfor 12 months. This includes broadband internet data, internet telephony, internet use via mobile phone, and e-mail activity.53 The records can only be disclosed in response to a request from a public prosecutor (a judge) or a defendants lawyer, and, like their counterparts elsewhere in Europe, Italys law enforcement agencies may ask ISPs to make such information readily available so that they can respond to the needs of criminal investigations. Given the technical burden of this directive, most ISPs now Trionfi and Mills, Press Freedom in Italy.

Although it is difficult to determine the real number of people affected by wiretaps (estimates range from 25,000 to over 130,000), many individuals who are caught up in wiretaps have no incriminating connection to the main target of the eavesdropping. The current law stipulates that such peripheral communications cannot be transcribed and any recordings should be destroyed right away, though this is not always carried out in practice. Thus it may happen that some exchanges are recorded and leaked to the media. This is the problem that the proposed bill on electronic surveillance was meant to address. See for example Cristina Bassi, Intercettazioni, quante sono e quanto costano [Interceptions, How Many and How Much They Cost], Sky TG24, June 13, 2010, http://tg24.sky.it/tg24/cronaca/2010/06/12/intercettazioni_quante_sono_e_quanto_costano.html (in Italian).

Duncan Kennedy, Italian bill to limit wiretaps draws fire, BBC, June 11, 2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10279312.

Trionfi and Mills, Press Freedom in Italy, 19.

Privacy International, Italy: Privacy Profile, in European Privacy and Human Rights 2010 (London: Privacy International, 2010), https://www.privacyinternational.org/article/italy-privacy-profile.

For a useful timetable of the required retention periods, see Gloria Marcoccio, Convention on cybercrime: novit per la conservazione dei dati [Convention on Cybercrime: News on Data Retention], InterLex, April 10, 2008, http://www.interlex.it/675/marcoccio7.htm (in Italian). See also Andrea Monti, Data Retention in Italy. The State of the Art, Digital Thought (blog), May 30, 2008, http://blog.andreamonti.eu/p=74.

Legislative Decree No. 109, May 30, 2008.

Privacy International, Italy: Privacy Profile, in European Privacy and Human Rights 2010 (London: Privacy International, 2010), https://www.privacyinternational.org/article/italy-privacy-profile.

ITALY FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net use a third-party service that offers the necessary security guarantees for encryption and data storage.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 43 | 44 || 46 | 47 |   ...   | 85 |

2011 www.dissers.ru -

, .
, , , , 1-2 .