Important / O2 in English

Wiretaps. What will change with the decree? Opinions compared

Review of the opinions on the effects that the new legislation waiting for approval will have on journalistic activity

Many things will change when the legislative decree containing “Provisions regarding the wiretap of conversations or communications, implementing the mandate as pursuant Article 1 of the Law of 23 June 2017 no. 103”. Will they change for better or for the worse, for journalists, for reporters who draw news from court files, for bloggers? And for citizens who fear ending up in the newspapers without being guilty of anything?

The text presented by the Government has raised numerous concerns both in the journalistic world and among expert lawyers of the matter.

Some fear that, while moving from noble and shareable goals, such as greater protection of investigative secrecy and the right to confidentiality for those wiretapped, the solutions adopted may more or less seriously undermine other rights of no lesser importance, such as the right to report, the right of citizens to be informed and the right to a defence.

According to others, however, the new legislation will make the content of wiretapping even more easy to be made known, and in a shorter time. According to some observers, the exacerbation of penalties for those who violate the new bans cannot be applied to those who spread, within the limits of reason, contents of significant public interest. They will not be punished, as is already the case under Article 51 of the Criminal Code which recognizes the innocence of those who act in the “exercise of a right or fulfillment of a duty”, as journalists who publish information of public interest. In fact, journalists operate according to Law n.69/1963 which says: “Freedom of information and criticism is an irrepressible right of journalists, limited by the observance of the laws dictated to protect the persons of others and it is their imperative obligation to respect the substantive truth of the facts” and the international treaties, recognized by the Constitution, which enshrine the right to disseminate and receive information.

The balancing of these rights is an issue of undoubted interest for this Observatory, although it already tends to unequivocally skewed to one side, which is not their side. And it would be a serious matter to skew it even more instead of straightening it out. It would be serious because freedom of information can be exercised solely and exclusively through a correct balancing of rights and based on the clear definition of the limits within which the various conflicting rights can be exercised. Therefore, on the wiretap decree, Ossigeno per l’Informazione has collected some of the most significant comments. It offers them to those who want to form an opinion and will host other enlightening contributions.

Meanwhile, on 6 December 2017, the Chamber’s Justice Commission has concluded the examination of the legislative decree scheme by issuing a favorable opinion. The Commission shares the overall scheme of the decree. The opinion formulated by the chairman of the commission, Donatella Ferranti, was approved with one vote. The rapporteur has accepted some prominence of the professional categories and gave the government some indications to guarantee the rights of defense, the investigative effectiveness and the right to information.

The text formulated by the Government is now awaiting the non-binding opinion of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It remains to be said that, at this point in the legislative process, not only the suggestions of experts and operators, but also parliamentary opinions are not binding for the Government. But it is possible that the Minister of Justice will welcome them, in whole or in part. And it is desirable to take these into consideration.

ASP (gt)

Leggi in Italiano

Licenza Creative Commons I contenuti di questo sito, tranne ove espressamente indicato, sono distribuiti con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione 3.0

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *