20:03 GMT07 July 2020
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    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)
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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has blocked legislation that would allow Italian security services the power to access people's computers remotely.

    So-called computer frisking has been blocked from the terror bill. Renzi reportedly requested that a passage be removed from Italy's draft anti-terrorism law, which is currently being put together in Rome.

    The proposal allowing police to hack into other people's computers remotely has, of course, raised concerns over personal privacy.

    Subsequently, Italy's justice commission has submitted a revised text for lawmakers to vote on. Instead, the executive will introduce a measure as part of a wiretapping decree.

    The Italian Data Protection Authority praised the prime minister's move to remove computer frisking from the legislation:

    "This well prevent an excessive and probably not very useful extension of invasive investigative tools."

    Re-writing Orwell's 1984

    Michele Meta, president of the Lower House Transport, Post and Communications Committee and member of Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party said:

    "It is sometimes necessary to give up some liberties for the sake of greater security, but the sacrifice must be proportionate to the goal.

    "Spying on computers via hidden keyloggers must be limited to specific, very serious suspected crimes, otherwise there's the risk of writing the sequel to George Orwell's Big Brother."

    European Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks tweeted his praise for the Italian Prime Minister.

    Adding that security measures must respect human rights.

    Following the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris which left 17 people dead, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for new anti-terror measures.

    The proposals so far include eight year jail sentences for anyone leaving Italy to become a foreign fighter with a terrorist group. Anyone caught giving money or promoting terrorist groups would also be handed the same sentence.

    The new legislation also aims to come down hard on anyone caught in possession of, or supplying, bomb-making material.

    Meanwhile Italian police are currently investigating online Islamic State propaganda — 'A Vaild Caliphate or Not' — written in Italian and circulating on the Internet. Authorities believe it is similar to another document that recently emerged online called 'Islamic State, a Truth That Wants to Communicate With You.'

    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)


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    spying, anti-terrorism legislation, surveillance, privacy, George Orwell, Matteo Renzi, Europe, Italy
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