Prevention and Repression of Computer Crime against the EU: the problem is clear, the solution doesn’t

On May 17, 2019 the Council of the European Union has established

a framework which allows the EU to impose targeted restrictive measures to deter and respond to cyber-attacks which constitute an external threat to the EU or its member states, including cyber-attacks against third States or international organisations where restricted measures are considered necessary to achieve the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

In other words, this framework allows the EU to enforce a series of sanctions – including the prohibition of entry into the EU – to  those who attack the computer resources located in the Union from other countries. At first glance, everything would look normal and – all in all – acceptable. But since the devil is in the details, a more in-depth look at the matter reveals a few problems.

Firstly, the violation of the principles of due process: a computer attack is a crime and for sanctions to be applied to the culprits,  a proper trial is necessary. In the outline envisaged by the Council of European Union, this is not foreseen.  A blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the individual (also) recognized by the Nice Charter.

Secondly, even if the first condition is met, it must be remembered that in criminal matters the jurisdiction belongs strictly and solely to the national legislator. What cases and which penal codes or similar rules will be applied in order to decide whether we are dealing with an event which falls within the scope of the ‘framework’ laid down by the Council?

Thirdly, are we talking about public policy, state security or the defense of the interests of the Union? The question is not trivial because in the first case the “domain” is that of a hypothetical “EU Ministry of the Interior”, in the second of the hypothetical “European secret services” and in the third case of the “Ministry of Defense”. Ambiguously, however, the Council speaks of “discouraging” (i.e. “preventing”) and “opposing” (i.e. “reacting”) in order to achieve the objectives of the foreign policy “And” those of the common security. This means that “prevention” and “reaction” to the cyber attacks are instruments of “enforcement” of the foreign policy of the EU also independently of security issues.

Let’s get ready to face very interesting issues…

Apple, Facial Recognition and the Right of Defense (plus, a sting at the GDPR)

The news is gaining momentum: Osumane Bah, a student that has been charged of multiple  theft in  Apple stores located in several cities of the United States, filed a suit against the Cupertino-based company seeking for a compensation of one billion USD for having been wrongly identified by Apple as the author of these crimes. The decisive evidence that lead to his involvement in the investigations, this is Mr. Bah’s basis of the claim, is that he has been  wrongly identified by a facial recognition system operated either by Apple or a security company hired for the job. Continue reading “Apple, Facial Recognition and the Right of Defense (plus, a sting at the GDPR)”

Public security, powers of the public security authority and information technology

Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Prof. Luigi V. Mancini

CYBERsecurity at Sapienza University of Rome Events

Public security, powers of the public security authority and information technology

Andrea Monti – Lawyer

 Affiliation: Adjunct Professor of Public Policy and Public Security Law at the University of Chieti-Pescara.

 May 13, 2019, from 16:15 to 18:30

 Aula II, ground floor of the building “ex-Facoltà di Scienze Statistiche” in “Città Universitaria”, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5 (Rome).


Part 1. Technological public order and information security

Part 2. Public security and information technology


The pervasiveness of information technologies has repercussions not solely in terms of judicial activity, but also affects the management of public order – and therefore the exercise of powers attributed to the Ministry of the Interior in different areas and before the Judiciary intervention.

A modern notion of public order must necessarily take into account the issue of information security as its own constitutive element.

This seminar describes, starting from the analysis of the Consolidated Law on public security, the structure of the public security authority, and defines roles and powers and analyses the way in which this structure deals with the subjects of the information society.              

In particular, it highlights the possible interactions between the State Police, Internet providers and platform operators Over the top.

Participation is free, however registration is required on Eventbrite by searching “Public security, powers of the public security authority and information technology”.

Upcoming Seminars at

For any questions or further info, please visit or write to

LinkedIn:          Master of Science Cybersecurity Sapienza

Instagram:          @cybersecurity_sapienza

The CIA to provide evidence of HwaWei involvement with Chinese Military and Intelligence

Even if true, where is the beef? That HwaWei got funded by Chinese military and intelligence is not an issue. Do we already forgot the “Fritz Chip”, the use of (Western-sponsored) State malware in intelligence and criminal investigation and so on?

From a national security and public policy perspective, it is  logic that a sovereign state explores all the possibilities to obtain superiority over its foes and “friend” too. Thus – if confirmed – the proof offered by CIA of HwaWei involvement with the national security apparatus shouldn’t surprise. Continue reading “The CIA to provide evidence of HwaWei involvement with Chinese Military and Intelligence”

What Boxe and Knife Sparring teach about ICT Security

Time and Space are two key factors in any strategy, whether offensive or defensive.  This is true regardless you are involved in large scale, symmetric conflict, in an ambush or in a direct attack. There are, though, serious differences among the possible reactive approaches according to the different factual circumstances.

An empty hand attack can be handled by taking into account to be hit as a way to “close the distance” and gain a tactical advantage. This is best exemplified by the way boxeurs manage the opponent: maybe they get partially hit by a jab, but in the meantime they set themselves in the right position and time to hit with a devastating cross.

Knife sparring – let alone actual “fighting” or self-defense – requires an entirely different approach. In such kind of training it is mandatory not to be hit because a hit actually means a “cut”. Therefore the training is focused on being as far as possible from the blade, and hitting the opponent’s hand with the defendant’s knife (this is called “defang the snake”.) In knife sparring everything is faster and the reaction’s options are very limited, as you don’t backstep and then hit back, or try to catch&parry a knife flying around your face or guts, as you would with just a bare fist.

This key difference matches a common underrated assessment when designing an ICT security model: is the infrastructure able to sustain a hit and remains operational while the “defense team” is summoned (as in the Boxing Sparring)? Or the infrastructure is not designed to act like that and, once hit, its operational capability is progressively hampered (as in the Knife Sparring)?

The answer to this questions is important because it helps the security manager to better define the structure, the roles and the budget of the incident management team.