In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, as a way to improve the “safety” of the citizen, the Italian Home Ministry Affair, Alfano (a right-winger) ? called for:
- a “registration” of “dangerous” websites,
- a further enhancement of the ISPs duty to block access to
(terrorism-related) Internet resources,
- an exception to the data-protection regulation, to allow the law
enforcement agencies to easily access “sensitive” data.
This is an exploitation of the recurring rhetorical locus: “enhance safety needs the fundamental rights to be weakened”.
It is easy to answer with an often quoted statement by Benjamin Franklin:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
But this is not the point.
From a “terrorism” fighting point of view, what Alfano is calling for is simply useless.
If the target is to gather as much information as possible to prevent new attacks, blacklisting websites obviously doesn’t help. It neither stops terrorists from talking each-other, nor allows to spot upcoming threats.
If the target is to gather advance information to run “pre-emptive actions”, it is useless to “weaks” the data-protection regulation to ease the law enforcement agencies access to “sensitive” (i.e. political-related) information. Those who need a fast and direct access to such king of information, in fact, are the secret services (whose activities are neither handled nor reported to a magistrate) and not the law enforcement bodies, that can only act, in Italy, AFTER a crime has been committed (having, in this case, full access to everything they need, under the control of the public prosecutor.)
Then, a couple of questions:
- why does Alfano calls for measures that don’t help fighting terrorism, but allow a crackdown against normal citizens?
- why the ISPs should be burdened to act as censors and central scrutinizer on behalf of the government?