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Censorship The Media

Italian Draft Wiretapping Law Under Fire 150

Posted by kdawson
from the do-not-press-that-red-button dept.
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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Italian Draft Wiretapping Law Under Fire

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  • by eexaa (1252378)

    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?

    • 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).

      • >>>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".

        It depends upon accuracy. If you write fast and record word-for-word what someone is saying, they'd have a very difficult time denying the accuracy of your report. Of course with modern tech like cellphones, you could be recording someone and they'd never know it. Then just transcribe the audio to written form in the privacy of y

        • by C)8o( (1297767)

          they'd have a very difficult time denying the accuracy of your report.

          Ahah you obviously don't know berlusconi and his lackays; they are well accustomed at denying facts for which hard evidence exists, e.g. pretending he has never said something for which there are public recordings available, and the like. I'll let you draw your conclusions.

        • by denzacar (181829)

          Both accuracy of the mental recording and speed of writing are meaningless and their result can be "torn down" simply by the act of denying that any of the things "recorded" manually or mentally is true.

          That is, unless you are willing to take that to court - where it will be torn apart and scrutinized for the tiniest inaccuracy along with EVERYTHING you have ever done in your life.
          "So, you have total recall photographic memory? How come you didn't get straight As in school then? Where is your third doctorat

          • >>>You do realize that under the proposed law something like that would be illegal, regardless if it is true or not?

            In the event your written record is challenged, it's easy enough to remain anonymous if you release the recording through other people or proxies (like bittorrent). And if I did get caught and spent time in jail, so what? Anybody who believes in Liberty should be willing to spend a little time in jail for their beliefs.

    • 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
  • by orzetto (545509) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:37AM (#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.

    • by worf_mo (193770)

      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 w

    • 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.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      It's a felony in Illinois to record anyone without their knowledge, and you don't even have to publicise it. But Illinois has been long known for its corruption. Two of our last five Governors (not counting the present Governor) went to prison, and a third is on trial right now for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. A judge here in Springfield (state Capitol) recently resigned after it was revealed that he fixed a traffic ticket for his friend's daughter; his friend is also a judge.

      I won't even start with

  • I'm Italian (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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

    • by Vihai (668734)

      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"

  • Silvio Berlusconi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hao3 (1182447) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:55AM (#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.

    • by lbbros (900904)
      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"?
      • by hao3 (1182447)

        Thank you for proving my point.

        • by lbbros (900904)

          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

          • by hao3 (1182447)

            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.

            • by lbbros (900904)

              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 t

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by hao3 (1182447)

                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 a

              • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                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 Berl

              • by Exitar (809068)

                Sure, and Emilio Fede is a commie!

              • by gnumark (711079)
                I think you are joking. Or you hope in the next 'Fiscal Shield'. the point is. who vote in italy is shameless. who vote for someone like Berlusconi is much worst than shameless. The italian justice has SENTENCES (not eye witness as you said) that he is one of the P2 and was involved with the Mafia at least since 1994, after 1994 was impossible to assess it (Ops.. exactly when he found Forza Italia, what a lucky guy!!). Or you think that all the italians attorney are communists that eat babies?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Toy G (533867)

            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

            • by hao3 (1182447)

              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.

      • <quote>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"?</quote>

        You voted him in good faith, and that's your right.
        But, after all this mess, voting for him again means you ARE a "brainwashed soulless drone" indeed (douchebag too, imo).
        The whole world sees it, the UN and OCSE too, only Berlusconi's voters can't.
    • by Verunks (1000826)

      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

      • by hao3 (1182447)

        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.

        • by lbbros (900904)
          Check what happened in the two years of the Prodi government before him, and you'll see a good example.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Toy G (533867)

            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?

        • Luckily, you don't have to go very far back in Italian history to change that...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rmav (1149097)

        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

        • by moortak (1273582)
          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.
          • by rmav (1149097)

            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.

            Define "good quality corruption".

            Roberto

            • by moortak (1273582)
              Skimming, kickbacks, outright bribery. Sadly it seems the only way people get anything done in this city is if they can take a slice off the top. The honest guys and small time thieves have little incentive to really push things. The deeply corrupt get an awful lot done. One percent off the top gets to be a larger amount the more they accomplish.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

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

          I'm not so sure about that. I'd rather have a competent judge who fixes traffic tickets for his friends [sj-r.com] than an incompetent one. Of course, worse is one who is both crooked and incompetent.

          • by rmav (1149097)

            It is still better an honest incompetent than an outright criminal in charge. I'm not so sure about that. I'd rather have a competent judge who fixes traffic tickets for his friends [sj-r.com] than an incompetent one. Of course, worse is one who is both crooked and incompetent.

            Well, there are smaller misbehaviours and bigger things. To fix traffic tickets for friends is of course a crime, but it would be difficult to consider it a major crime (even though it gives a very bad example, and can ruin the trust between citizen and institutions). But a prime minister with ties to the mafia, that is totally unacceptable.

            Roberto

      • by Vihai (668734)

        we vote for berlusconi because there are no alternatives,

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

      • by Sal Zeta (929250)

        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 th

  • 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?
    • by lbbros (900904)
      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.
    • by Verunks (1000826)

      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 o

      • Is there any chance that this will change in the near future? Another question is how long can Berlusconi stay in power?
        • by rmav (1149097)

          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

        • "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.
    • 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 o
    • "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.

      • Yes, I am aware that "most" Italians I know might represent a very biased sample and yes I am aware that they might be ashamed of admitting they vote(d) for Berlusconi. Now that I think of it, why the hell would they be? Wait...
    • by Sal Zeta (929250)

      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 ha

  • 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 iss

    • 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

    • by L4z4ru5 (1705054)

      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.

    • by zr-rifle (677585)
      MOD PARENT UP.
    • by Toy G (533867) <toyg.libero@it> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @07:01AM (#32897716) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        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.

        <pedantic nit>The scabs are the workers who cross the picket lines, not the employer (yes, I'm in a union and proud of it).</pedantic nit>

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

      • by lbbros (900904)
        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.
        • by hao3 (1182447)

          Guess you are naive enough then.

          Moderation doesn't work because people mod down bad comments?

    • by orzetto (545509)

      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 investigat

    • by hao3 (1182447)

      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.

      ah, 'tarnishing reputations' and 'corrupt' judges, the excuse for tyrants everywhere to censor and suppress freedom. I'd trust a judge over a politician almost all of the time.

  • 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.

    • by elucido (870205) *

      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.

      If we can record chat IMs, why can't we record all communications?

  • 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 lea
    • by jafiwam (310805)

      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 gunpoi

      • by forghy (749877)
        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.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      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.

      It is the law in Illinois; here, it's a felony to record a conversation without consent. Journalists didn't record the conversations, the Feds did, and did so with court-ordered wiretap warrants. The feds released the recordings to the newspapers.

      • by forghy (749877)
        The most sensitive parts of the law, are left out from the original post. For your info:
        - the law will severely restrict law enforcers from using telephone / ambient wiretaps. Practically the use will be allowed only for mafia or drug related crimes. All the rest (murder, kidnapping, corruption and other white collar crimes) will be a no go. See the comments made by the very US Dept. of Justice a few weeks ago on the subject.
        - the law will punish journalists / editor ho disclose acts that are now of pub
  • Berlusconi is a lobbyist now?

  • by kenh (9056)

    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 record

    • by DMiax (915735)

      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...

      No you cannot with this bill. Berlusconi was recorded by a prostitute while enjoying her services. It was quite embarassing for him and he probably cannot help going with prostitutes. As a consequence he wants to prevent them from blackmailing him forever.

  • "Silvio Berlusconi claimed that complete freedom of the press was not something which should be guaranteed in any democracy"

    http://www.globalpost.com/webblog/italy/ill-winds-blowing-sardinia [globalpost.com]

  • by sribe (304414)

    Four years seems a bit draconian, but people should know they are being recorded.

    Why? To protect corrupt public officials? To legally enforce good manners? Neither is an appropriate purpose for criminal law!

  • In many US states including IL it is illegal to record conversations without consent of both parties. AFAICT this includes both phone and in-person.

    A while back I had the idea that it would be fun to do undercover exposes on scam companies, by getting employed and gathering hidden camera/audio footage. Unfortunately I think there would be legal problems here.
    • by elucido (870205) *

      In many US states including IL it is illegal to record conversations without consent of both parties. AFAICT this includes both phone and in-person.

      A while back I had the idea that it would be fun to do undercover exposes on scam companies, by getting employed and gathering hidden camera/audio footage. Unfortunately I think there would be legal problems here.

      This allows them to spy on you, but you can't spy on them.

  • Many states in the US disallow the use of tape recorders. Frankly it is as if the law favors crime. Hidden recorders can catch criminals easily and the public should be encouraged to use them. It is not only the creep threatening to cut his wifes head off and play with her brains but also people in public office or holding public jobs that are involved in serious criminal activity. As it stands now a person can end up in prison for using a tape recorder. This needs to stop. And even more offensive is

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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