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Italian Draft Wiretapping Law Under Fire

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the do-not-press-that-red-button dept.

Censorship 150

newsblaze writes "Italy has a draft law on surveillance and eavesdropping that could jeopardize journalists and threaten freedom of expression. The UN doesn't like it and they are calling for the abolition or revision of the bill. Anyone not accredited as a professional journalist could be imprisoned for up to four years for recording a conversation without the consent of the person involved and then publicizing that information. Four years seems a bit draconian, but people should know they are being recorded. Across Italy, journalists and citizens protested against the draft law, and most journalists went on strike (only the newspaper published by the premier's brother was open for business). I couldn't discover what would trigger the maximum penalty. This is similar to a 2007 bill that was stopped — lobbyists never give up!"

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why is this red? (0)

hairyfish (1653411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897138)

huh?

Re:why is this red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897144)

Uh-oh. The italian police are coming for you. Have a nice 4 years in jail :P

I would be embarassed to be Italian if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897154)

I would be embarassed to be Italian if this made any difference. You can be sure that even if the law stays it'll be sidestepped or ignored. Fortunately.

Re:I would be embarassed to be Italian if... (4, Informative)

Exitar (809068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897286)

Unlikely, since Berlusconi proposed it to avoid further problems to himself and his gang with Italian justice.

Re:I would be embarassed to be Italian if... (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897580)

Is this law against one-party consent, or 3rd-party eavesdropping?

Re:I would be embarassed to be Italian if... (1)

Vihai (668734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897894)

It is (also) against one-party consent.

Re:I would be embarassed to be Italian if... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897996)

I used to stand up for the press when I was younger. Now I know once the press gets a story it is spun, stretched and converted to sensationalistic garbage intent on promoting some journalists job and competing for revenue against other rags. So whats to defend or respect and who cares if they are free to express crap , lies and spin? I guess I will care more when the press actually get around to truthful unspun actual news.
        Further , "The UN doesn't like it and they are calling for the abolition or revision of the bill.", who could care what these self important busybodies think? The article means the same thing with or without mentioning the U.N. Adding the U.N. to the soup only increases cynicism and aggravation. HA, the only entity less heard and obeyed than the Vatican.
Call me grumpy and cynical, but this story is a non issue.

taking it to extreme.... (2, Insightful)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897170)

What if I just remembered the conversation I'd be otherwise (for example) recording on tape?

Do they cut my brain media off? And send the rest to prison?

Captain Obvious To The Rescue! (2, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897590)

Being that your mind is NOT an objective recording medium, any statement you would make based on that "recording" would be labeled as everything from a "your version of the story", through "pure fantasy" to "slandering lies".

At best, you would be considered an "unreliable source" - at worst you would be put on trial for defamation. [osce.org]

And in Soviet Italy, that could result in one of the following:

6. Maximum prison term for defamation, libel and insult envisaged in the Criminal Code

Generic insult: not more than six months imprisonment.
Insult with attribution of a certain fact: not more than one year imprisonment.
Generic defamation: not more than one year imprisonment.
Defamation with attribution of a certain fact: not more than two years imprisonment.
Libel through the press, television or other public means: not more than three years imprisonment.
Libel through the press with attribution of a certain fact: not more than six years imprisonment.

7. Maximum fine for defamation, libel and insult envisaged in the Criminal Code
Generic insult: not more than 516.
Insult with attribution of a certain fact: not more than 1,032.
Generic defamation: not more than 1,032.
Defamation with attribution of a certain fact: not more than 2,065.
Libel through the press, television or other public means: minimum fine: 516 (no maximum amount is indicated).
Libel through the press with attribution of a certain fact: minimum fine: 516 (no maximum amount is indicated).

Re:taking it to extreme.... (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898502)

The bit where only accredited journalists could record a conversation has another intent: to prevent magistrates from recording phone calls, etc. Too many people, including several of the premier's friends, incurred in problems with justice because they're not paying attention to what they say on the phone, as the police and magistrature are allowed (as of now..) to wiretap telephones when conducting an inquiry.
Interceptions did also help very much in busting mafia bosses etc., and I wouldn't be surprised at all if all Italian mobsters were now cheering for the current government (in the most optimistic possible ways of looking to things) to be able to pass this law.

BTW if you just "remember" an overheard conversation, see denzacar's reply below. But this is not, repeat not, the real objective with this law.

I'm not surprised (-1, Troll)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897182)

A once Italian (and Commie at that) landlord used to come into our apartment and snoop around. No sense of privacy.

una terra dei cazzi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897220)

L'Italia un terra dei cazzi.

Animals were harmed and tortured in the making of this Post.

Ma chi se ne frega.

in no other country in the world (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897236)

Poor Italians

ops !

in all places of the world is illegal to record conversation with out consent by spying other people. in US with Obama as president, as example, it looks like that is not even allowed to take photos of the oil spill.

  in all countries of the world a judge must grant permission to wiretap, and nobody is allowed to have access to the evidence that is being collected for security of the investigation itself and for privacy of other parties involved: for sure no journalists never publish that on the newspaper before the trial or even the investigations is closed.

an Italian guy !

Re:in no other country in the world (2, Interesting)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897344)

yeah it's funny that in the US people are against the NSA wiretapping, while here in italy people wants to give up their freedom and be wiretapped while the government doesn't want it
also this law doesn't ban wiretapping per se, but it bans the public disclosure, so let's say someone records you while peeing, he can't publish it without your permission

Re:in no other country in the world (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897522)

However the law needs improvements: currently it targets the disseminators (journalists) while the real targets should be the ones who let the information out in the first place (judges and their staff).

Re:in no other country in the world (1)

rmav (1149097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897712)

However the law needs improvements: currently it targets the disseminators (journalists) while the real targets should be the ones who let the information out in the first place (judges and their staff).

Exactly. The journalist should not be held liable if he publishes information he gets from other sources. Those that leak the info are of course responsible. For instance: Bradley Manning is liable for leaking info he was supposed to keep secret, Julian Assange (Wikileaks founder) should NOT be held liable. It's simple. The italian law is de facto introducting censorship.

Roberto

Re:in no other country in the world (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897956)

You're not informed. This law *does* limit wiretapping per se, except for "Mafia and terrorism", and even in those cases it harms it severely. That's why all judges are against it. Just one example: if you're wiretapping somebody for theft, and while doing that you hear that he killed a person, then that recording can't be used as evidence for the homicide! That's foolish, who could benefit from this besides criminals?

Also, publishing somebody's private image without his consent is already forbidden in Italy - there's no need to further limit the freedom of speech, which is already quite low there.

Re:in no other country in the world (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897368)

So you are basically saying that in the US police can't wiretap gangster phones without asking them before?

Re:in no other country in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897378)

In no other country it would be illegal to talk about a process in the press before it ends, especially if the process lasts up to 5 years...

Re:in no other country in the world (4, Insightful)

orzetto (545509) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897842)

in all countries of the world a judge must grant permission to wiretap

No. Even setting aside despotic regimes, in the US the NSA can wiretap as much as they want. In Italy, on the other hand, wiretapping must be requested by one prosecutor and approved by a judge (who is not the same as in the trial) and there are no legal exceptions to this. Illegal exceptions include Berlusconi's friends in Telecom Italia, who provided him details on the communications of leaders of the opposition parties, which he published in his (brother's) newspaper.

nobody is allowed to have access to the evidence that is being collected for security of the investigation itself and for privacy of other parties involved

Neither is in Italy. However, when the investigations are over, all evidence must become public. This is a cardinal principle of civil rights: you cannot have a trial on secret evidence.

for sure no journalists never publish that on the newspaper before the trial or even the investigations is closed.

Uh, Monica Lewinsky anyone? Any journalist will, and should, publish anything that is provably true. Doing otherwise is betraying his mission.

Re:in no other country in the world (1)

Vihai (668734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897928)

What it's being made illegal is also personal recording conversations of which you are part. This is legal in most of civilized world, since is a mere documentation of facts you already know by being present.

Third party wiretapping has always needed a Judge consent.

Re:in no other country in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32898068)

You are not a simple "italian guy", you are one of those clowns that vote for those-whose-names-I-repel-even-to-spell and that put more shame on Italy every day. Between the "government" ("junta" is more like it) and people like you, who even in front of the most blatant evidence will still defend what cannot be defended I am seriously thinking to revoke my italian citizenshit, and become an apolid. NOT IN MY NAME.

Play the Good Cop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897252)

Anyone else noticing how the UN has been in the news in regards to issues such as these and being portrayed as Good Cop? Obviously I hold a hint of healthy skepticism in these articles. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Today you see the UN in this light, tomorrow however, your rights and freedom may not be so defined or protected. I believe it to be foolish for anyone to trust in a body of law makers whom are easily out of reach within ones own society. No respect, no control, no accountability. It is only a matter of time and blind faith. Here being laid before your very eyes, is your path to trust in world governance.

Re:Play the Good Cop (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897874)

You have the IQ of an office stapler, the wit of a dog turd and a penis the thickness of a single human hair.
It's great practise insulting AC's.

Re:Play the Good Cop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32898046)

You have the IQ of an office stapler, the wit of a dog turd and a penis the thickness of a single human hair.

You must be green with envy.

THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897262)

This is a good thing for all concerned!

El Duce

In case you don't understand... (5, Insightful)

orzetto (545509) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897270)

In case you don't understand what is happening: corrupt government does not want citizens to know about its corruption. Corrupt government(s) already passed laws over the past several years that make it almost impossible to jail anybody for corruption and similar charges, mostly through shortening of statutory terms (that in Italy run also through the trial and its appeals). Corrupt government still looks corrupt because evidence is being published through newspapers, even if corrupt members of government are pretty sure not to go to jail. Corrupt government makes law ("it's for your privacy!") so that journalists still telling the people that the government is corrupt will have to shut up.

Note: I really, really hate Berlusconi, but this is not only his fault: the "opposition" Democratic Party also want this law (they had it in their electoral program in 2008), because they are just as corrupt, even though they pretend they don't like it to score cheap political points.

So, here you have it: you can make despotic laws in the name of privacy.

Re:In case you don't understand... (1)

Qlither (1614211) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897362)

If they manage to get this bill through, it would also mean the end for any wiki leakers in Italy too.

While governments have always hated 100% free speech, wiki leaks is the only place where you can have 100% freedom of speech with out reprisals.

Re:In case you don't understand... (1)

chiui (1120973) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897612)

If they manage to get this bill through, it would also mean the end for any wiki leakers in Italy too.

I don't think so. Most leakers in the world are illegal anyway :)

Re:In case you don't understand... (1)

worf_mo (193770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897648)

I found the "it's for your privacy"-part that has been touted by the current administration particularly funny - or irritating - for various reasons. On one hand, most Italian citizens don't need to worry about their troubles with the law ending up in the news. They are simply not under investigation, and if they were they aren't high profile enough, so the media couldn't care less about them. On the other hand, for the past years privacy has been taken from us step by step. I can't go to an internet cafe without having to show my identity card or passport, I can't access a wireless hotspot without having registered first (again, with ID), even if the usage of the hotspot self is free. Telecommunication providers are asked to keep logs for purposes other than billing. We can't buy a prepaid cellphone card without registering first (with ID). And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

This draft law has been written specifically to protect politicians and their business partners, and as orzetto has stated above, a large part of the opposition is quite fine with it.

Re:In case you don't understand... (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898044)

Corrupt government(s) already passed laws over the past several years that make it almost impossible to jail anybody for corruption and similar charges,... [but] still looks corrupt because evidence is being published

Too true. Which makes the Icelandic governments IMMI [immi.is] move to give safe harbor to free press initiatives like these examples [journalism.co.uk] all the more critical going forward.

Just remember, the Official Secrets Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897294)

is designed to protect Officials, not secrets. - Yes Minister

IL Duce says: (1)

fregare (923563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897308)

It is not impossible to govern Italians. It is merely useless. ~ Benito Mussolini

I'm Italian (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897338)

and I can assure you that this draconian law is not a coincidence, considering the increasing number of corruption lawsuits involving the prime minister, his ministers and his close men. A significative part of the law makes it very difficult for detectives and judges to allow wiretapping of a possible criminal, and when it is allowed it is limited to 75 days for telephone tapping, and 3 days for surveillance. Furthermore the law is retroactive, so, in any pending process, any wiretap that lasted more than 75 days is discarded.
In Italy we call it "legge bavaglio", meaning gag law I guess.

Re:I'm Italian (1)

Vihai (668734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897960)

and I can assure you that this draconian law is not a coincidence, considering the increasing number of corruption lawsuits involving the prime minister, his ministers and his close men.

Better say "most of the parliament"

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897342)

(only the newspaper published by the premier's brother was open for business)

Not true. Several other national newspapers of different political standing didn't go on strike (Il Foglio, Libero, Il Riformista, Mf, Italia Oggi).

It should also be noted that Italy wouldn't need a new wiretapping law if the existing laws against divulgation of confidential judiciary documents had been enforced. The whole thing stems from the habit of several magistrates and/or judiciary employees to covertly leak selected wiretap documents to likewise selected journalists. And no, not for pure idealistic purposes ;-)

It's even worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897360)

The current draft also jeopardizes the freedom of the press by forbidding the publication of wiretaps that are already in the public domain before the conclusion of the trial (and trials in Italy are incredibly slow). The editor whose newspaper fails to comply must pay a fine so huge that it would send small editors directly out of business.

Silvio Berlusconi (5, Insightful)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897364)

lobbyists never give up!

In this case the lobbyist is the president and his gang of thugs. The voters still love him though, so he stays in power despite countless scandals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi#Legal_problems [wikipedia.org] ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi#Controversies [wikipedia.org] . Democracy doesn't work so well when people vote on looks and television presence rather than actual issues. Or when one person control vast amounts of the news media.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897372)

I voted for him in good faith, and I'll do it again. Not everyone who votes "the person you don't like" is a brainwashed soulless drone. What's democracy? Voting for only the "optimates"?

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897382)

Thank you for proving my point.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897420)

What does it prove? The "Legal scandals" ended up with exonerations (more than once), there is not a single case that has been proven in tribunal. Show me a single case that has merit. What was proven was just an excessive expenditure of public money targeting symbols (and it wasn't the first case: Giulio Andreotti, while being a very bad politician, was also accused in the same, but worse manner).

You may not like the man and you're free to do so, even strongly. But thinking that people are brainwashed for voting him means you do not understand democracy.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897434)

Where did I say people who vote for him are brainwashed? Implying that I did says more about you than it would about me if I had said such a silly thing. And I don't know the man, so my personal view of him is irrelevant. Maybe he's a great guy. But he's a horrible politician and president. Should have been kicked out years ago. As for his supposed 'exonerations' .. really? Justice isn't impartial, especially when you're rich and powerful. If anything, it makes him look worse.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897476)

The fact that he "controls" the media is an urban myth. The public television is hostage of "currents" that aren't always sided with the government, actually the opposite most of the time. Most of the media isn't really friendly to the government, going from moderate to extreme opposition (but more than to him, to the political side he represents). Culture, teaching, etc. are by most of the opposite political spectrum. So where's the control of the media?

And if you say so that justice is impartial... well that only leads to cynicism. If you go and read through all that has been published, you'll notice that there is not a single, solid piece of evidence. All based on witness evidence. The same tht happened in other cases (not involving him at all), which were thrown out on the same basis. But this is a problem of the Italian justice system in general.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897574)

C'mon, give us a break.
Berlusconi controls most of Italian media. Three of them are his personal property (Mediaset). Other two are under his political control (RAI state TV).
If you don't see that, then it's your problem.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (2, Informative)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897696)

Opposing the government is bad?

Just a few of the countless allegations Berlusconi has faced would be enough to cause someone to resign in most other developed countries, never mind lengthy court cases or 'exonerations'. Sadly, Italy is on the lower end of the scale for the first world when it comes to corruption and transparency.

http://www.transparency.org/content/download/47601/761851/CPI+2009+Regional+Highlights+EU+and+Western+Europe_en.pdf [transparency.org]

Italy gets 4.3, only slightly less corrupt than Bulgaria, Greece and Romania. Greece is the only other Western European Country that's worse, and look where they are now. Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia are all less corrupt than Italy, and they're much less developed. Globally, Namibia, South Africa and Oman are some of the countries with a better ranking than Italy, which ranks 63rd, just above Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. ( http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2009/cpi_2009_table [transparency.org] ).

Italy comes joint 17th with Brazil on the Bribe Payers Index, again below South Africa and just above India, Mexico, China and Russia. ( http://www.transparency.org/news_room/latest_news/press_releases/2008/bpi_2008_en [transparency.org] )

http://www.transparency.org/content/download/43788/701097 [transparency.org]

69% of respondents think the current government's actions to fight corruption are ineffective. Political parties get 4.1 out of 5 as an index of corruption.

I suppose that's all the opposition left-wing's fault?

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897710)

Actually, we have recorded evidence (yes, from wiretapping, the thing that Berlusconi is now trying to stop) showing that, among other things, Berlusconi-appointed staff on the public television delayed the news of electoral results because they weren't favorable to him, and that during the funerals of pope John Paul II they wanted to ensure that the face of Berlusconi was on camera for long enough.

We also have proof that the Berlusconi-appointed head of the first public news program called immediately Berlusconi to reveal secret information to him about investigations.

We also have proof that Berlusconi repeatedly called the director of the (supposedly) independent authority for telecommunications to make him stop the only few programs in the public service that do not praise him.

We also have proof that Berlusconi called the director of the fiction program of the public service, asking him to hire some actresses to corrupt some opposing members of the parliament to make them join his side. The director called him "boss" (and praised him in a completely servile fashion) even tough Berlusconi at the moment could not be in any way his boss (because he was at the opposition at the moment, because the public service is supposed to be independent, and especially because the public service should be a *competitor* to Berlusconi's private TV channels).

Need more evidence? I can go on until tomorrow. If only that was useful.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (2, Insightful)

Toy G (533867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897682)

The "Legal scandals" ended up with exonerations (more than once), there is not a single case that has been proven in tribunal. Show me a single case that has merit.

Actually, no. He was convicted for corrupting the judges in the Mondadori case, but saved by the Italian equivalent of the "Statute of Limitations", i.e. after stalling the trial as long as he could, eventually we reached the stage where facts were too old to be considered. Same for illegal party funding in the first All-Iberian case, and illegal funds used to buy a footballer.
He was also convicted of lying to judges and using illegal funds to buy land, but was saved by generalized amnesty.
A couple of other trials were nullified by laws he passed (All-Iberian 2, SME-Ariosto 2). He's still awaiting judgement on a trial where his then-lawyer was convicted of corruption, again coming out of All-Iberian.

It's all on Wikipedia, among other places, but you're probably not interested in facts. Keep voting whatever you want, I've left the country for good, only come back every few years to be a tourist -- lovely food, shame for people constantly complaining about the shit economy and crap society.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897744)

The "Legal scandals" ended up with exonerations (more than once), there is not a single case that has been proven in tribunal. Show me a single case that has merit.

Actually, no. He was convicted for corrupting the judges in the Mondadori case, but saved by the Italian equivalent of the "Statute of Limitations", i.e. after stalling the trial as long as he could, eventually we reached the stage where facts were too old to be considered. Same for illegal party funding in the first All-Iberian case, and illegal funds used to buy a footballer.
He was also convicted of lying to judges and using illegal funds to buy land, but was saved by generalized amnesty.
A couple of other trials were nullified by laws he passed (All-Iberian 2, SME-Ariosto 2). He's still awaiting judgement on a trial where his then-lawyer was convicted of corruption, again coming out of All-Iberian.

It's all on Wikipedia, among other places, but you're probably not interested in facts. Keep voting whatever you want, I've left the country for good, only come back every few years to be a tourist -- lovely food, shame for people constantly complaining about the shit economy and crap society.

Quite right, he gets away with it by passing laws and amnesties, and statutes of limitations. Hardly an 'exoneration', he just makes himself look more and more guilty with his blatant lies and nepotism.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897398)

lobbyists never give up!

In this case the lobbyist is the president and his gang of thugs. The voters still love him though, so he stays in power despite countless scandals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi#Legal_problems [wikipedia.org] ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi#Controversies [wikipedia.org] . Democracy doesn't work so well when people vote on looks and television presence rather than actual issues. Or when one person control vast amounts of the news media.

we vote for berlusconi because there are no alternatives, the commies had their chance a few years ago and their government blew up after less than 2 years because they couldn't agree on anything even if they were allied
he might not be the best option ever, but it's the best we have right now

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897470)

we vote for berlusconi because there are no alternatives, the commies had their chance a few years ago and their government blew up after less than 2 years because they couldn't agree on anything even if they were allied

he might not be the best option ever, but it's the best we have right now

I have a hard time believing anyone could be worse than Berlusconi.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897492)

Check what happened in the two years of the Prodi government before him, and you'll see a good example.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (2, Insightful)

Toy G (533867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897754)

Check what happened in the two years of the Prodi government before him, and you'll see a good example.

Yeah, Italy won the FIFA World Cup (after finding out its best football clubs were corrupting referees, including one club owned by a certain Mr. Berlusconi).
Some people were forced to (gosh!) pay taxes or (damn!) face competition in the market.

We couldn't allow that to continue, right?

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897510)

Luckily, you don't have to go very far back in Italian history to change that...

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (2, Insightful)

rmav (1149097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897722)

lobbyists never give up!

In this case the lobbyist is the president and his gang of thugs. The voters still love him though, so he stays in power despite countless scandals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi#Legal_problems [wikipedia.org] ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi#Controversies [wikipedia.org] . Democracy doesn't work so well when people vote on looks and television presence rather than actual issues. Or when one person control vast amounts of the news media.

we vote for berlusconi because there are no alternatives, the commies had their chance a few years ago and their government blew up after less than 2 years because they couldn't agree on anything even if they were allied he might not be the best option ever, but it's the best we have right now

It is still better an honest incompetent than an outright criminal in charge.

Roberto

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

moortak (1273582) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897834)

I'm not so sure about that. My home town has always had some issues with corruption, but it seems when we get some good quality corruption going we actually have growth.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

Vihai (668734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898012)

we vote for berlusconi because there are no alternatives,

There is an alternative to voting for Berlusconi: NOT voting for Berlusconi.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (1)

Sal Zeta (929250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898156)

I would note however that the previous government "blew up" due to a possible case of corruption, were a member of the left-wing party was paid to undermine the stability of the government of the time. the very same politician, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clemente_Mastella [wikipedia.org] >Clemente Mastella was then appointed by the Berlusconi's Party to the Euro Parliament, basically a tax-paid vacation. (they wouldn't have lasted much more, anyway)

He was then found guilty of corruption due to other cases, but then the terms of the sentence weere made void thanks to a well timed "pardon" law that basically worked out as a "walk out of jail freely" card.

Yeah, I know, it seems some evil plan out from DC comics, but it's the actual political situation of Italy. The only reason because we're not yet in the same condition of Argentina or Greece is due to a really strong presence all over the territory of extremely-specialized, small to medium size enterprises, of which the luxury products (like clothes, exotic cars, etc) are the most known examples.

Unfortunately, the current situation is actively damaging all of them, considering that the government is basically uninterested to their condition, supporting instead much of the big industry, now almost irrelevant on an economic point of view but constantly bailed out due to their, guess again, "connections" to the political parties.

Re:Silvio Berlusconi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897468)

it's a little more complicated than that.
th'ere's not much to vote for int Italy: no real opposition. plus, a single person controls 90% of the media...

Question to Italians (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897376)

I am a bit puzzled because most Italians I know abhor Berlusconi. Still he was elected and re-elected and it seems that only him manages to stay in power for more than a few months. How come there is no real opposition in position to win elections and reform the country?

Re:Question to Italians (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897432)

I blame the fall of the Communism. Seriously. The left wing parties are in a total identity crisis since then. With reformism being totally dead (for long time) there's not a coherent vision and parties are fragmented in different "currents" or ways of thinking. Most of them are numerically irrelevant, and usually leaders aren't strong-willed enough to gather the ranks and offer an alternative.

Re:Question to Italians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897446)

There is no opposition because the only thing the Italian opposition could agree on in the latest years was hating the prime minister.

On the other hand, for citizens who think than Italy should be reformed in a libertarian way (lower taxes, which are currently unbelievably high; more decentralized responsibilities; more modern and flexible labour market; and so on) there is no alternative to voting for Berlusconi, given that his opposition is mostly left-wing and they are still the same men that grew in the Italian Communist Party before 1990.

Re:Question to Italians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897788)

Except that after 10 years of Berlusconi rule, fiscal pressure in Italy is at its historical maximum, public debt in absolute value is at its historical maximum, youth unemployment is at its historical maximum -- and still people don't seem to care much about it.

Moreover, Berlusconi's party happily accepts people coming from the Communist Party (for instance, the current Ministry of Culture) and contains most of the former Socialist Party (which disbanded in the early 90s after its leader, the political father of Berlusconi, escaped to Africa after being condemned for stealing millions of public money).

Italians don't care at all about the history or the political programs of the people who govern their life. Recent polls proved that the vast majority of the Italians refers to TV to choose who to vote at the next election, and Berlusconi controls 5 out of 7 TV channels in Italy.

Re:Question to Italians (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897456)

I am a bit puzzled because most Italians I know abhor Berlusconi. Still he was elected and re-elected and it seems that only him manages to stay in power for more than a few months. How come there is no real opposition in position to win elections and reform the country?

because till a few years ago we did have many political parties, especially on the left wing, then most of them reunited together to create the two major political parties we have now PD(left wing) and PDL(right wing), the problem is that all the parties that formed PD had really different ideas since some of them were more center sided while other were from the extreme left(yes we are one of the few country with a communist party still alive) so everytime they tried to do something nobody could agree and of course they failed.

Re:Question to Italians (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897570)

Is there any chance that this will change in the near future? Another question is how long can Berlusconi stay in power?

Re:Question to Italians (1)

rmav (1149097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897742)

Is there any chance that this will change in the near future? Another question is how long can Berlusconi stay in power?

He has a plan to be cloned from the nose once he dies.

Roberto

Re:Question to Italians (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898588)

"Is there any chance that this will change in the near future?"
No.

"Another question is how long can Berlusconi stay in power?"
Until there's a political opposition again. Which does not look very close in time.

Re:Question to Italians (1)

opus_magnum (1688810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897474)

Problem is, political debate here is now akin to rooting for football teams and supporters don't let facts get in the way. Until a while ago the official excuse was that them commie judges had it in for Silvio and also pretty much everyone else who attacked him (like "The Economist" newspaper); now it's open war without any semblance of legitimacy, for he would go to jail and his "party" would fall to pieces if he stepped down. Someone said he embodies all of the national vices which appear like virtues on him and many simple minded folks identify with him.

Re:Question to Italians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897532)

I'm puzzled, too. And, yes, I'm Italian.

Re:Question to Italians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897652)

every american i've talked with in the W-era was in heavy opposition to the chief
same here

more: the influence of mr B. is fueled by a LOT of money (and so high level political think tank) and a great part of the broadcasting sector (he own or influence)

Re:Question to Italians (1)

Majin Bubu (455010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897822)

"most Italians you know"

Have you ever heard of the Shy Tory Factor?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shy_Tory_Factor [wikipedia.org]

Also, there is the fact that most people dissatisfied with something or someone DO express their opinion, while most people who ARE satisfied, DON'T

BTW I am one of those who vote Berlusconi.

Re:Question to Italians (1)

Sal Zeta (929250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897922)

I wrote a brief comment regarding this some time ago [slashdot.org] . Sorry if I just repost it:

"Lately the italian government has been subject of a much more intense scrutiny from journalists not lined up to the "official truth" and private individuals, due to the reluctance from the main opposition to act (or, more probably, acquiescence to the situation) and the complete subservience of television news services.

This has ended up in some scandals for Berlusconi even more embarrassing than the usual,even for a guy that has been found guilty of Mafia connection with a group that used to liquify the children of their enemies inside vats of acid: Prostitution rings related to the rebuilding of the city of Aquila, Intentional disservices inside Hospitals which refused to give bribes to the Department of Health,the discovery ot the full approval in the past of mafia crimes by some members of the government, you name it.

So lately the main (and basically,the only) italian party has tried to silence such "annoyances that tarnish the image of Italy abroad", as Berlusconi once said, by closing or imposing a strict control to all news services not directly controlled, depriving both the parliament and the magistrature (which, of lately, had taken a more aggressive approach to the situation) of a lot of powers, and lately, a new law that in theory would make illegal any kind of journalistic investigation, any whistleblower revelation, and the publication and achievement of any legally-mandated wirettapping until any investigation is over, basically making a good part of the aforementioned processes a farce.

As you may imagine, I am clearly not impartial to the whole situation, but even the remaining part of the remaining right-wing politicians and industrial groups are more than ashamed with the whole situation. Despite a clear minority of support, the P.D.L.(party of freedom, love the irony) party has used the tactic of saturating the regional election pools with their own representatives, which in turn basically elect the actual government.

Unfortunately, most the population is completely apathetic to situation, as they seems to care only to soccer (most of such laws are being proposed during the world cup, accidentally) and the various local reality shows."

Re:Question to Italians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897972)

Let alone the fact that the opposing party isn't really an opposition (fragmented, lack of leadership, etc...)
The fact is that Berlusconi own a lot of the media here in Italy. With the media you can control the majority of people, especially if you own 50+% of the TV system, in a country where internet is still lagging behind and very few "intellectuals" (i hate this word) actually read newspapers.

The Italian that you know are probably the more interesting, clever, smart, intelligent and honest part of Italy... because the only italians that voted and will vote again for Berlusconi are:
retired workers
industrials (the new financial program for this year was dictated by the industrial lobby)
self-employed people (for one very reason: tax evasion... mr Berlusconi said that tax avoidance and tax evasion is one people right because taxes are too high...)
organized crime and people whose work directly depend on recommendations from organized crime
very ignorant people (like my co-worker in front of me right now, that don't know who Dell'Utri, Mangano, Previti, Mills, etc are). And this category is huge because, as I said, Berlusconi controls the TV system directly (owner of his tv channels) and indirectly (public state owned channels), and that count for 90% of the italian TV system.

Re:Question to Italians (1)

Majin Bubu (455010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898014)

> the only italians that voted and will vote again for Berlusconi are:

you Sir, are dead wrong, I am afraid

Nice trolling there, kdawson (1, Troll)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897406)

kdawson, you reallly love trolling, don't you?

First: even "the newspaper of the brother's premier" has voiced concerns over the law - the decision not to go on strike was a move by its chief, Vittorio Feltri (who also criticized the law openly), who thought that shutting down information to prevent the shutdown of information was nonsensical.

Second: It was not the only newspaper who didn't go on strike. Others, such as "Libero", "Il Foglio", "Italia Oggi", were regularly in newsstands as well.

Third: the issue with wiretapping here it's that in the current law (the one being proposed) it's misguided - it targets journalists while the fault lies in judges and their collaborators, who like to "spread" news even before investigations are complete. This is mostly a problem for people outside investigations, that are by chance talking with the plaintiffs. Sometimes personal details (completely irrelevant to the matter) make it to the newspapers, tarnishing reputations.

Information is also checking your facts. This wasn't done.

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (1)

what about (730877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897536)

Please mod parent up

To understand the matter it is important to divide the sample data into people that had been involved with italian justice and those who did not.
- Whoever has been involved with italian Justice just hates it (I had an issue involved a notary that sent me a bill for something that happened 9.5 years ago and was related to my father supposedly not paying the notary for some work on my grandfather testament... the judge decide I had to pay part of the sum.... is this justice ?)
- Whoever has been involved with Italian Justice knows that you can be smothered for not having done things, there are PLENTY of cases of people being declared not guilty after MANY years.

Unfortunately, justice reform is widely opposed by anybody that had not been involved with it....

The net result is that this law tries to solve the issue of justice horror stories by capping the amount of irrelevant leaks that can happen.
It is not the best thing, but the real reform cannot be done because "politicians" do not understand the problem.

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897594)

lbbros, you're misrepresenting how thing are going on
First : ok for Feltri, i cannot deny that he's criticising tha law, but is supporting heavily every move this governement is doing. So i recognize a double game here: i'm a journalist showing my indipendence but in the same time i endorse the politics of this people
Second: you have to specify that "Libero"and"Il Foglio" are under the influence of the Berlusconi family (I don't know about Italia Oggi)
Third: in italy too many people is reading the proposal like a way to take advantage from this distort situation imposing laws that trepass the declared target

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (1)

L4z4ru5 (1705054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897632)

the only newspaper who didn't go on strike. Others, such as "Libero", "Il Foglio", "Italia Oggi", were regularly in newsstands as well.

true. and those are newspapers owned by his buddies. coincidence? i think not.

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (1)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897702)

MOD PARENT UP.

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897714)

Mod parent troll

"libero" (and his counterpart "il riformista") are newspaper of very bad personalities closely linked to Berlusconi.
"il giornale" is, de facto, of Silvio Berlusconi himself. His brother Paolo is only a dummy owner to shield Berlusconi and to bypass a law that forbid him from owning the newspaper.
"il foglio" is directed by Giuliano Ferrara, also linked (indirectly) to Berlusconi.

Vittorio Feltri has a long story of plain false "news" on his newspapers. He is against the law, judging from the titles of his articles... but then you read that he really want what Berlusconi want. Complete control over italy at any cost. Just look at the new scandal about the secret organization leaded by men closely linked to Berlusconi to control everything with the help of Cosa Nostra and 'Ndrangheta.

The proposed law want to forbid the "spread" until several years later the evidence is collected. In fact by now nobody would know anything the former Italian Bank Governor Fazio and his "smart" friends. Let alone the Protezione Civile scandal etc...

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (3, Informative)

Toy G (533867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897716)

First: even "the newspaper of the brother's premier" has voiced concerns over the law - the decision not to go on strike was a move by its chief, Vittorio Feltri

Feltri is known for never, ever allowing strikes. Even when his workforce goes on strike (which happened a few times) he still prints the paper. He's just a scab.

It was not the only newspaper who didn't go on strike. Others, such as "Libero", "Il Foglio", "Italia Oggi"

All papers supporting the government. "Libero" is controlled by one of the political parties in government.

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897782)

I really want to add that Berlusconi did something really similar to what Nixon did some times ago in the USA (a little scandal called "Watergate"...)
He, by means of his newspapers and mens, acquired a phone conversation between an opposition leader (Fassino) and a banker (Consorte). And obviously, after he tried to blackmail here and there, he used his newspapers and used the conversation against his "enemies".
The conversation was not register by the police so he got it illegally (secret service? new P2 secret masonic lodge?)

The other newspapers never did something like this. You sir, are an IDIOT

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897812)

Ok, let's see.
1) "Libero"'s ownership, according to Wikipedia, (the italian version, which cites a 2006 interview with Giuliano Ferrara) is:

Veronica Lario ha il 38%
Sergio Zuncheddu [1] ha 20 o 25%
Denis Verdini ha il 15%
Giuliano Ferrara ha il 10%
Luca Colasanto (stampatore) ha il 10%

Now:
- Veronica Lario is Berlusconi ex-wife; (in 2006 they still were married).
- Sergio Zuncheddu is a businessman, good friend of Mr. B.
- Denis Verdini is Berlusconi's political party national coordinator.
- Giuliano Ferrara is a journalist (the director, to be precise)
- Luca Colasanto is a politician, member of Berlusconi's party

This is the most blatant case, but the other two are not so different.

2) Newspapers, in Italy, are almost irrelevant -- nobody reads them anyway.
TV is what really counts. Here about 8-9 TV channels have a significant share
in the whole country; three of them are owned by B., three other are public and
under control of the government.

3) One of the big issues is that professional journalist, under this law, couldn't even
publish *public* wiretapping content (that is, *after* investigation is completed). We're speaking
about material that anybody, at least theorically, can access.

I suppose that "Checking the facts" can be done at different levels...

The real issue IMO is avoiding irrelevant leaks of wiretapping excerpts, but this should be
done at the source level, not by silencing journalists and publishers.

Even the UN, yesterday, expressed its concerns [un.org] .

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897816)

kdawson, you reallly love trolling, don't you?

First: even "the newspaper of the brother's premier" has voiced concerns over the law - the decision not to go on strike was a move by its chief, Vittorio Feltri (who also criticized the law openly), who thought that shutting down information to prevent the shutdown of information was nonsensical.

Feltri is a big supporter of the prime minister, and remember the newspaper is now the premier's brother one only becouse he could have only a certain number of newspapers.
basically, the prime minister still controls that newspaper.

Third: the issue with wiretapping here it's that in the current law (the one being proposed) it's misguided - it targets journalists while the fault lies in judges and their collaborators, who like to "spread" news even before investigations are complete.
This is mostly a problem for people outside investigations, that are by chance talking with the plaintiffs.

remember your watergate? it could not have happened with this law.
also, remember other particulars:
you are wiretapped for crime A, and you talk about you and others committing crime B.
do you get investigated for crime B? no, because wiretaps are only legal for that crime and not for others.

Also: you talk about illegal wiretapping.
That is already illegal and we have laws that punishes that. But here you get punished for publishing NON-SECRET information on the trial.
get it? punished for publishing non-secret information.

and:
- journalist can only publish a little summary of the trial. no full-depth articles are allowed (!!!)
- no names can be written in those summaries.

Sometimes personal details (completely irrelevant to the matter) make it to the newspapers, tarnishing reputations.

Information is also checking your facts. This wasn't done.

And that is already punished: it's called "defamation".
What this laws prevents is the spread of news that involve politics. But you should know that there should really be no "private" for a politician.

Mod parent 'shill' (1)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897824)

Do you get paid to astroturf or do you spread propaganda for free? (Surely you can't be naive enough to believe it?)

Re:Mod parent 'shill' (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898016)

I am not a shill. I fully believe what I wrote. I am capable of free thought, you know. And this is why moderation a la slashdot doesn't work.

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897844)

You might also add that "il foglio" is directed by a former Ministry of Berlusconi's government, and "libero" is directed by a person who, according to Wikipedia, was a Berlusconi/Berlusconi's brother employee from 1994 to 2009. Just for full disclosure.
"Italia oggi" I wouldn't know, because I've never heard of it.

Re:Nice trolling there, kdawson (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897926)

First off, kdawson is only writing what the article wrote, so he is not at fault.

Others, such as "Libero", "Il Foglio", "Italia Oggi", were regularly in newsstands as well.

Libero is owned by the corrupt Angelucci family, and hardly qualifies as a newspaper—it's more a propaganda leaflet. Il Foglio is owned by Berlusconi's wife. Italia Oggi is a minor newspaper with less than 25,000 [wikipedia.org] copies sold nationwide.

the fault lies in judges and their collaborators, who like to "spread" news even before investigations are complete

I call bullshit. You are spouting berlusconite propaganda. There is not one single instance of this situation ever happening. Spit out a counterexample if you can. It would not make any sense for a prosecutor to publish secret material and to warn the people they are investigating.

Sometimes personal details (completely irrelevant to the matter) make it to the newspapers, tarnishing reputations

Really? So why doesn't the law target exactly the publication of information that is not relevant to the public? I'd like to remind readers here that Berlusconi also owns Chi, a sort of National Enquirer, that is based only on gossip. News outlets of the Berlusconi family have also been used as a weapon by Berlusconi to hit hard the director of Avvenire (the catholic bishops' newspaper), Dino Boffo, with completely fabricated accusations of homosexuality and sexual harassment, because he was not lenient enough on Berlusconi's sex life. So here's who is really "tarnishing reputations".

More newspapers, actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897418)

Actually, it was not just the newspaper owned by the premier's brother (Il Giornale) that was open - all newspapers roughly of the same political side were published. For instance, "Libero", "Il Foglio", and also "Il Riformista". Just to cite a few that have national importance and are widely known in Italy.

Also, this is just another "normal" political battle for Italy, where political parties are only defined by the different levels of personal hatred or worship towards mr. Berlusconi.

In the name of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897548)

Many many cases were resolved by the use of telefonical interceptions. We found out how corrupt the system is thanks to these
being publicated. If we were to wait until the end of the trial, we'd probably never see them. Justice in Italy takes its time.
A long time, and if it takes too much time, the whole thing is considered void. Even the trial on Giuliano Andreotti for its businnes with
Mafia got void! How would we know about it if interceptions were not publicated?

Well, this law will make them unuseful by telling the intercepted people that they are being intercepted.

They are all telling that this kind of investigations doesn't happen in other countries, when after 9/11 we all knew american citizens
are being spyed on day and night. But this is not about spying, this is about investigating and nailing down guilty people.

Our "premier" cheated on his wife, with prostitutes and even with a 16 years old girl. Now he's cheating on us as well.

"but people should know they are being recorded." (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897846)

One party of a conversation should know it, but it is perfectly reasonable for a participant in a conversation to record it.
Recording evidence of crime comes to mind as an example, such as being threatened via telephone.

Re:"but people should know they are being recorded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897990)

Exactly. This is also the law in quite a few countries, including Norway, but excluding Britain.

This makes it illegal to record evidence of such crime you mention in Britain. So in Britain, a person's right to privacy trumps the other party's right to avoid being harassed or threatened. It makes no sense to me. If you have chosen to engage in conversation with another party, it should be perfectly legitimate for that party to document this conversation.

Rod Blagojevich comes to mind (1)

forghy (749877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897864)

If this draft was a law in the USA, people would have know Blago's wrongdoings only after the trial or the journalists that published the intercepted telephone conversations (that were in the affidavit) would be in jail. Please remember that the real targets for the proposed Italian law are the lawful* wire taps. Those warranted by a judge. In Italy, as of today, details of an ongoing investigation can't be divulged before an affidavit is issued. Then, it's a public document. And that's where journalist learn about intercepted conversations. While I find the gag to the press disgusting and fascist, it's more way more disturbing the systematic barrage of hurdles thrown on Italian Justice already troubled way. * as opposed to unlawful, unwarranted, widespread NSA wiretaps.

Re:Rod Blagojevich comes to mind (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898036)

The US already has laws like this.

The US already throws people in jail using laws like this.

There are also adequate penalties for interfering with an investigation (which your example seems to be about).

However, an ordinary innocent citizen can be thrown in jail for doing nothing more than using a camcorder to record police officers visiting the neighbor next door. As happened to an open carry advocate last year, or as happened to that kid recording himself on his motorcycle that got jumped (at gunpoint) by an asshat police officer that didn't identify himself while running the guy off the road for speeding. The kid is in jail for making the recording, not for the speeding.

The US is not as free as you think it is.

Re:Rod Blagojevich comes to mind (1)

forghy (749877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898100)

I am sadly aware the almost everywhere some people are more equal than others before the law, as in the infamous case your are referring to. Law enforcers usually are.

no way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897886)

as you can see from the lbbros guy above... he says "commies" had some power but hey! go read some history book dude. unless you call "commies" D'Alema and his party... and they were not, they are responsible for dismantling the biggest italian industry (telecom anyone?) and I blame them too, the italian commies were never given a chance to govern the fu**ed up country, not even when they had (beginning of eighties) more than 11 million votes!!! that was likely due to the cold war, the us influence and blablabla, even though their leader Enrico Berlinguer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Berlinguer#The_break_with_the_Soviet_Union) broke with Soviet Union and was nearly killed in 1973 in what was probably a kgb plan in Sofia. so... in the end, if you take for granted what berlusconi says, go on, but dont misrepresent that as the truth dude.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897896)

the changes they try to make to the Constitution of Italy, are all to save mister B. from judges.

the history is very long, and start to the hidden/ghost political powers, that in the past with the objective to eliminate comunist influcences from russia, try to remove all democratic powers from the republic. i talk about P2 (Propaganda 2), Licio Gelli who is the intellectual father of some choices of mister B; the history of these is very intricated and linked to USA history, their movements of big sums of dollars to IOR (the ex-vatican bank), to mafia, in order to drop out comunism from europe and in particular from Italy.

today, in their papers, they promote the government action to show their force to eradicate problems like mafia, camorra and 'ndrangheta, solve problems about the heartquake in L'Auquila, and hidden people that they want to change consitution, in order to grant more power to political class.

they want that people (tele-voting-people :) ), know and see only some things, in order to control them.

"Lobbyists"? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32897974)

Berlusconi is a lobbyist now?

So is Obama equivalently evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32897988)

Obviously any country that FAILS TO ABOLISH such as law would identically evil to one IMPLEMENTING the law.

Lobbyists? (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32898002)

The original poster wants to lump most of the blame for this bill/law on lobbyists, but I'm not quite sure who those lobbyists s/he imagines would be? Lobbyists (typically) represent forces outside government, and it seem to me this is a case of the government wanting to know when they are on the record (a point the opriginal poster agrees with). Now, the penalties may see a bit draconian, but without knowing how the penalty is imposed, it is hard to have a real opinion.

It sounds like the issue isn't recording a conversation so much as it is the publication of that recording (personal vs. professional use).

Here in the US we have a few states with laws designed to protect private conversations, but we also have states where only one party to the conversation needs to be aware of the recording (participants are protected, third-party recorders are not).

Aside from the punishments, this seems reasonable - you can't record private conversations and make them public without alerting the other party that you are recording the conversation, with exceptions carved out for journalists. You can argue the definition of "journalist" and the punishment meted out, but the basic law is nothing new really.

I am assuming that recording a conversation for personal use is still OK, and that you can introduce such a "private" recording as evidence in a trial...

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