After the attack against Berlusconi several Facebook groups supported this insane action, while several others blame it. To this, Berlusconi’s political faction reacted in an hysterical way announcing legislative measures to prevent and block the “flourishing” of “hate speeches”.
As matter of fact, while in first instance the ministry of Home Affair announced some sort of “emergency legislation” to be quickly passed, the final choice has been to follow the standard – and quite longer – procedure. No public statements have been released to actually justify this shift, while a few background elements can help to understand why this happened.
Current Italian legislation consider as criminal offenses actions like: libeling, insulting, advocating or expressing support for a crime, inciting somebody to commit a crime, stalking, moral violence, illegal interference in somebody’s private life.
Public prosecutors have the power – on the snap of a finger – to seize and shut down whatever network resources located in Italy. Furthermore, a (questionable, admittedly) interpretation of “preemptive seizure” coming from the Criminal Court of Milan extended the legal concept of “seizure” up to allowing the release of an order against ISP to block the traffic directed toward a network resource located outside the Italian jurisdiction. The result is that to achieve what Berlusconi’s party aims, no new legislation is actually needed.
Nevertheless, at least to show some coherence, a draft law has been announced that should follow the path of previous right-wing made bills aimed at banning online anonymity.
The hidden – while clear – implication of this political strategy is to overrule the e-commerce Directive principle of non mandatory preemptive duty of control, thus forcing ISP and provider of Internet-based services (like Facebook or Youtube) to become automatically liable for the actions of their users.