New Italian law to block child pornography websites
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At the beginning of 2007 a ministerial decree was signed by Communications
Minister Paolo Gentiloni that obliges Internet Service Providers to block
child pornography sites within 6 hours from being announced to do so.
The body that has the responsibility to notify the ISPs on the sites that
must be blocked will be “Centro nazionale per il contrasto della
pedopornografia” (The National Centre against Child Pornography),
coordinated by the Post Police under the supervision of the Ministry of
Communications. The Centre has to create and update a list of sites
considered as containing child pornography and keep informed those
responsible by notifying the ISPs.
The notifying procedure will be established within the Ministry of
Communications but the filtering systems that the ISPs are supposed to use
in order to block the sites have not been determined. The decree will oblige
ISPs to study and find the technical system to comply with the law starting
with 1 March 2007, when it enters into force.
Italy’s penal code stipulates severe punishments for the distribution and
publication of child pornography. According to minister Paolo Gentiloni.
“The decree reinforces the fight against child pornography and the
exploitation of minors through the Internet”.
The decree has been well received by many bodies including the Ministry of
Family, the Osservatorio sui diritti dei Minori (Children Rights
Observatory), Osservatorio sociale (Social Observatory) or Save the
Children organisation. While appreciating the introduction of the law, some
stated the measure is not enough to stop child abuse and argued on behalf of
According to EDRI-member ALCEI this measure comes as a worsening of the
censure situation in Italy, as such kind of legal provisions have not proven
efficient in the past in protecting children and stopping child abuse or
preventing any kind of violence for that matter. However this paves the way
for more censorship that might be applied to other types of information that
may be considered forbidden.
Paolo Nuti, Vice-president of Association of Italian Internet Providers
signalled certain problems that the application of the decree might cause.
Blocking a certain IP address may lead to blocking not only the site in view
but other related sites that might have nothing to do with child
Italy enacts law to block child porn Web sites (only in Italian, 2.01.2006)
Italy will block many other sites (4.01.2006)
“Gentiloni Decree” opposes pedopornography – ALCEI release of 10 January
2007 (only in Italian, 10.01.2006)