Italian authorities messed up by the wiretapping scandal

By EDRi · September 27, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The Italian wiretapping scandal has continued since this summer, showing
that Telecom Italia internal security service has tapped phone calls from
their own employees, business partners, competition, but also from political
and football circles.

The wiretapped phone calls database was apparently used to blackmail
various people. According to a prosecutor that is investigating the case
the obtained funds were used for corruption activities. The
wiretapping was possible due to a series of accomplices from the Police,
Prosecutors and Secret services.

The Italian Government issued last week a new normative act on
“wiretapping” that tries to prevent the usage of the wiretapped
conversations in any court cases. The new decree even condemns
the possession of illegal wiretapping information. The Prime Minister
has declared that “The objective is to at least stop the rot spreading. We
want to ensure that no wave of blackmail can begin. That would make the
attack on democracy even more serious.”

Also, the Italian Ministry of Justice, Clemente Mastella, ordered an
investigation regarding the Telecom Italia procedures on wiretapping and to
check out whether these procedures allow unauthorized access. The final
report should be shared with the lawmakers.

The Italian Data Protection Commission (Garante per la protezione dei dati
personali) issued a new press release on 21 September making a public
call to every citizen, media and other public entities to respect privacy if
they have documents or information regarding the content of
the wiretapped conversations.

The chaotic way in which the public authorities have dealt with the
situation is underlined in several articles that show the state institutions
have reacted very late and only when their leaders’ personal interests might
have been at stake.

Andrea Monti from EDRI-member ALCEI has correctly underlined that the
Italian Data Protection Commission, which should have controlled this market
has only “succeeded” in sending a press release. He also points out that,
contrary to the most spread common opinions that the “hackers”, “pirates”
and “direct marketing multinational companies” are those targeting our
personal data, the authors of the biggest problems related to the misuse of
information are actually insiders, not very technical, such as members of
the Police and Information Services.

Garante: nobody to publish the contents of the illegal files (only in
Italian, 21.09.2006)

Decree-Law no. 259/ 22 September 2006,
Emergency provisions for the modification of the norm regarding the
wiretapping (only in Italian, 22.09.2006)

Eight Years of Abuses and Garante issues a press release (only in Italian,

Illegal Wiretapping and files: quis custodiet custodes? (only in Italian,

Justice minister seeks information about wiretapping at Telecom Italia amid
scandal (23.09.2006)