On Berlusconi illegalising phone bugging for personal benefit

Oh dear, no sooner Mr Berlusconi took over the Italian government, when he started using the country as his own personal playground. Who the hell came out with il Cavalieri as his nickname? Il Corrotto would have been better.

It reads like a “Dictatorship for Dummies” book. First of all, secure the elections by supporting an imaginary rescue of the ill-managed and debt-ridden Alitalia.

To tip the balance on your side, deal with immigration as an Apartheid theorist and criminalise those who come in search of a better life.And once you are in power, meddle with the law, and this time make sure that the judiciary will stay away from your past, present and future dark secrets so that you can cling to power for as long as you can.

The background here is the Italian secret service bugging last year up to 125,000 Italians, comparing to 1,700 citizens in the USA or 1,300 Swiss.

If the law goes ahead on Friday, it will mean five years of prison for the judge who orders the tapping of conversations, the person who actually installs the bug, the one who leaks it to the press, and obviously, five more for the journalists who publish the conversations.

Only terrorism, mafia affairs and sex violence acts will be allowed to be supported in court by legal records and transcriptions of conversations. White collar wrongdoing will have to be proved differently.

Different approaches to reality, isn’t it? In the US, they try to tap even your thoughts. The EU is discussing a register of bloggers, and Italy is now becoming the land of the free.

Well, particularly free if you are a former Prime Minister now being prosecuted for corruption in the Saccà case (where phone conversations by Mr Berlusconi are key for the fiscal). The law will have retrospective effect, so all happy here.

It is a sad day indeed, Hobbes, it is a sad day.



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