Interceptions in Italy are a problem: the interventions of the Privacy Guarantor and the Government are good

Interceptions in Italy are a problem: the interventions of the Privacy Guarantor and the Government are good
Interceptions in Italy are a problem: the interventions of the Privacy Guarantor and the Government are good
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“Hello, how many are we tonight?”.

“Six or seven: will you bring a couple of beers each?”


Based on a conversation like this (perhaps a chat or a “voice”), made with the wrong person, you could be convicted of transfer of substances narcoticspursuant to article 73 of the Decree of the President of the Republic number 309 of 1990 (casuistry and “package” jurisprudence).

It’s called a talking drug: it is that hypothesis in which the only evidence against the suspects consists of interceptions of chats or phone calls, without there being a single seizure of substance.
Whoever is talking to the subject believed to be a drug dealer has no idea that the “beers”, once the conversation has been intercepted and transcribed, will become doses of narcotic substance.

Not only: with cloud storage of chats and conversations, your conversations with this wrong person could be accessible to foreign governments, above all the US and Chinese.
Does that sound like a good idea to you?

This is why the topic of interceptions now occupies the public discourse, with recent interventions by the Government and the Privacy Guarantor, who have asked for prudence and opposed archiving via the cloud.

The issue of interceptions and the use of the computer sensor: the political context of reference

The Minister of Justice Carlo Nordio he intervened on the instrument of greatest political pressure that the associated judiciary has at its disposal: wiretapping.
The issue is delicate, and the Minister rightly cleared away any doubts about one passage: no “strictions” on those for investigations into matters of the mafia and terrorism.

Contract Management and GDPR: Guide to Outsourcing Personal Data Activities

The point is, therefore, another: the almost constant use of interceptions for all the hypotheses in which the statutory limit of the crime being investigated allows it.
This approach determines an enormous flow of information in the archives of the judicial police and the judiciary which, in some hypotheses, can lead to personal catastrophes, when the conversations are made public to the media.
In practice, once again, the game between state powers that shouldn’t arm-wrestle with each other is being played on interceptions: politics and the judiciary.

This is because the relationship between public prosecutors and the media has become very close in the last thirty years, from Clean Hands onwards and the private conversations of public subjects, politicians, entrepreneurs, sportsmen, etc. they are prized game for news-hunters.
Therefore, the Minister of Justice is right in wanting to limit the use of interceptions and computer data collectors (the latter extremely invasive) where these are not a necessary resource for investigations.
The Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, is also right to speak of corrective distortions and dialogue with the judiciary: the latter is made up, for the vast majority, of serious and upright people, who should not be assimilated to those who, by ambition or political position, understands his own munus as making arrests spectacular (to obtain as a result, perhaps, acquittal sentences with full formula, as happened – often – to some magistrates known in the news).


The intervention of the President of the Guarantor Authority for the treatment of personal data

Heard in the hearing for the fact-finding investigation on wiretapping in the Senate, the President of the Privacy Guarantor, Pasquale Stanzione, stated that “It would be appropriate to prohibit the use of sensors suitable for modifying the content of the host device and erasing the traces of the operations carried out”, suggests Stanzione, highlighting that “the use of systems – apps or in any case software that are not inoculated directly on the device – guest, but downloaded from platforms freely accessible to all and, on the other hand, archived via cloud systems in servers located outside the national territory – could, therefore, be the subject of a specific ban”.

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The intervention is technical, it does not enter into the merits of the cases in which wiretapping can – or must – be used, nor does it enter into the political/judiciary/press controversy.

However, it puts the finger in the wound or, better, in the two wounds that determine most of the suffering of privacy experts when it comes to wiretapping: data retention and spyware.

The intervention of the President of the Guarantor Authority on the subject of data retention (ie data retention) is clear: the cloud, the acclaimed archiving tool that allows amazing savings to those who use it – is. in fact, someone’s computer (or server).

This someone should be the Italian State, in its articulation of the Ministry of Justice, and not a private entity located in a foreign State, in which, probably, the EU Regulation 16/679 (GDPR) does not apply.
Some scandals concerning proven companies that supply hardware and software in 2021 have turned the spotlight on the use of Chinese technology for wiretapping and video surveillance operations, with the abstract possibility of remote access (i.e. from China) to the captured data and stored.
Not only that: spyware, i.e. the virus politely called “computer captor”, often and willingly alters the device on which it is installed.
In other words, the interceptions with the computer sensor are real hacker attacks.


The interceptions will be a battleground between the judiciary and politics until the institutional crisis that began with the Clean Hands investigation and which has never, in fact, closed is resolved.
How much are interceptions really needed?

Although they have been heralded as essential for the capture of the fugitive boss Matteo Messina Denaro, many are wondering how effective they really have been, given that it took thirty years to find a person who was tracked down practically … under his house.
Of course, the tool is essential for very delicate investigations: however, there should be an absolute ban on publication in the media; and this prohibition should be heavily sanctioned.
This would be the only real deterrent to the excessive use of this investigative means: if the economic and political component were removed, the problem would end by itself.

Interceptions with “computer captors” (trojans), everything you need to know


The article is in Italian

Tags: Interceptions Italy problem interventions Privacy Guarantor Government good

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