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Protecting privacy. The abuse excuse

Right wing minister of Home Affair (Maroni – Lega Nord) and undersecretary of economic development (Paolo Romani – Forza Italia) are pushing aggressively ISPs and Telcos to adopt a self-regulation on illegal content basically meaning: the gov wants ISPs to shut down “illegal” content upon “simple” notice, to protect “human dignity” and “privacy”.
What’s wrong with that?
First: although the label is “self-regulation” it isn’t actually so. Self regulation is (or should be) a set of rules that a specific sector freely choose to adopt. On the contrary, the gov arranged a “definitive draft” (so they called it) with no actual room for discussion.
Second: in Italy all the crimes involving human dignity and political freedom can be prosecuted without the need of a specific claim. If a public prosecutor believes that a such a crime has been committed, he can start the investigation on his own. Thus, if a content is illegal, it is a prosecutor business, while if the content is strong although not illegal, like it or not is just free speech.
Thus, there is no (legal and technical) need for the ISPs to become a “private court” telling the right from wrong. But this is exactly what this alleged “self regulation” wants to achieve: just shut down those “annoying bugs”.
So, if there is no need for such “self regulation” why does the gov try to enforce it?
The main reason is that they wants people to believe that industry itself chosen this solution, because the gov hasn’t the courage to pass such third world legislation.
So, with the excuse of protecting privacy and human dignity, what the Italian goverment is actually doing is pushing ahead the quest for censorship.

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