The Italian center-left wing has proposed a bill (currently passed in Senate, and now to be examined in the other chamber) that allows the law enforcement to obtain the use of computer seized during computer-crime related investigation, early before the final judgement comes to an end.
The “idea” backing the proposal (that will likely become a full-force law in a few time) is that there is no harm for the defendant if the police uses his computer waiting for the trial. At the end of the day, if the defendant will be acquitted – says the accompaining text to the draft law – he will get his computer back, and will start using it as if nothing happened. The reason for this law – this is clearly stated – is to give the brand new computers used for criminal purposes to the law enforcement agencies that still use old and crappy technology at no cost.
This is the very same approach adopted for houses and vehicles used by drug dealers and mafia mobs so in principle there shouldn’t be a particular concern for this new law.
Personally I disagree from this statement, since a computer is something different than a car or some other premises. It stores information often unrelated to the investigated crime, and/or information related to innocent third parties.
Why should these people be exposed to a mass infringement of their personal life?