Berlusconi Explains Need for Nozzle-Law: “Everyone is Spied On”
If you thought former President George W. Bush’s illegal wiretapping spree of a few years ago was bad, think again. Italy and Italians have it much worse.
“Everyone is being spied on,” said Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi today.
Speaking in front of the assembly of Confcommercio, the Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, Berlusconi calmly (for once) explained why the Italian Senate has recently approved a law that would prohibit journalists from publishing court documents containing recorded phone conversations and would make prosecutors’ jobs much harder by limiting the use of wiretapping possible suspects.
He said that 150,000 phones are currently being wiretapped in Italy. Making a rough estimate of the people involved in the phone conversations, Berlusconi said that 7 million people are being listened to every day.
That’s an awful high number of people to listen to. I’m wondering how many people are employed to do this? With just over 100.000 police officers in Italy, you’d think someone else is doing the job.
Telecom, Italy’s biggest telephone provider, used to have entire undercover teams dedicated to spying journalists, politicians and prosecutors who were considered critical of Berlusconi and his government.
There is a trial about to begin against Nicolò Pollari, the former chief of SISMI, the military intelligence agency, and former SISMI agent Pio Pompa for being part of a major scheme to – among other things – get access to databases full of private information.
That was July 2006, when special agents found a 23-page document full of political, judicial and reporting names being spied on.
Fast forward to today and you have a prime minister who is fed up with journalists talking about his encounters with prostitutes or his phone calls to broadcast news editors telling them what to do. He’s fed up having to defend party fellows who have to step down because they allegedly exchanged rich building contracts for a nice house with a view over the Colosseum.
He wants his privacy back.
He’s fed up of having all this freedom of the press.
He wants to be able to do whatever the hell he wants without having the nuisance of abiding the rules of a Constitution he has been wanting to change for quite some time.
P.S. Please forgive my temporary absence from the blog. I was in the process of moving to another city.