Italian Data Protection Law badly injured… whoduneit?

Last June 5, 2007 the Italian Camera dei deputati (roughly, a sort of US “lower house” equivalent) passed a law to excuse Small Medium Enterprises (SME) employing no more than 15 people from the enforcement of mandatory security measures to protect personal data. To enter in full force the law need to be approved by the Senate, whose decision is exepcted in the very next weeks.

This law has been proposed because – as matter of fact – from 1996 to present days Italian Data Protection Law has become just a bureaucratic issue, made of form to fill, with no actual attention to substantive issus. And – that is worse – the Italian Data Protection Authority did almost nothing in the last twelve years to stop this trend.

The proposed SME’s exemption arouse the furious reaction of ICT security lobbies who claimed that this law endagers the whole Italian communication network “safety”.  This is a grossly misleading claim since data protection law only deals with a limited subset of data an the security measures related provisions basically provide “paper based security”.

True problem is that – on the contrary – Italian Data Protection Law has been drafted and enforced with a distinctive lack of  “reality check”, whose result is that now the Parliament is stepping back on its foot.

Peppermint, copyright and personal data

A side issue arising from the Peppermint affaire is the relationship between criminal and civil trials rule of evidence.

In a criminal investigation, access to ISP owned traffic data and log files is possible only with a public prosecutor search and seize warrant. One seized, these information are strictly confidential and cannot disclosed – even to the defense counsel – before the trial starts.

The very same data – as the Peppermint affaire shows – can indeed be obtained by a private entity alleging a civivl – not criminal, then – copyright infringement, just asking the civil court to force an ISP to disclose information.

This is a paradox of the Italian legal system, since criminal action is supposed to be the only reason to allow the breach of constitutional rights, while the a civil case only gives the court limited powers. This common-sense rule has been subverted when talking about copyright. Is it fair or acceptable?

Intesa Sanpaolo: when marketing meets security

Recently Intesa Sanpaolo (born after a merge between Banca Intesa e Istituto San Paolo) moved its Internet banking authentication system from a password-based to a one-time-password-based access.

They sell that “innovation” – ever happens in the ICT business – as a major increase in IT security and then as a benefit for the customer, but if you think for a while this is not entirely true. Or – better – this might be true from the perspective of a marketing manager. But it is not from the customer standpoint.

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CALEA and US based foreign e-mail accounts. A deadly lock

If an US law enforcement officer wants to tap an American citizen internet account, the officer must play by the books. But If the US officer wants to wiretap an Italian citizen whose account is hosted in the US by an US company, does the USofficer need to respect the US regulations, or, since the target is a foreigner, he’d be free to play as he wishes? As far as I know, the answer is a sound “no”: the law enforcement officer must always comply to the US regulation (at least because the company that hosts the account is american and it is established on the US soil.)

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Privacy, corporate secret information and ICT. A speech at Infosecurity.

Tomorrow I give a speech at Infosecurity, the most important ICT security exhibit in Italy.
The conference is (unfortunately) in Italian only, but who’s familiar with the language might like to have a look at the programme.

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