Comunicato stampa OSCE sul DDL intercettazioni:
VIENNA, 24 June 2009 - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media asked the Italian legislature today to drop two planned legal provisions that would restrict freedom on the Internet and reporting on court cases.
“The provisions fail to acknowledge several international media freedom standards,” Haraszti wrote in a letter to the President of the Council of Ministers, the President of the Senate and the Justice Minister.
The proposal “on public security” would impose fines of up to 250,000 euros on Internet service providers that do not block materials believed to instigate or glorify criminal acts. The lower house of the Parliament voted in May to delete this provision, but the final version is still to be announced by the Senate.
A draft law “on telephone surveillance and electronic eavesdropping”, approved on 11 June by the lower house, would prohibit public references to any documents related to court proceedings or police investigations prior to the conclusion of preliminary investigations. Violators would face imprisonment up to five years.
“The draft does not provide for exemptions for cases where the published information was in the public interest. Neither does it differentiate between the officials leaking information and those passing it on or publishing it,” Haraszti said.
“These deficiencies are inadmissible in a democracy that acknowledges the citizens’ right to know.”
Haraszti stressed that information - even sometimes leaked by officials - may play an important role in the fight against corruption.
“The passing of such information should not be punished, provided there is the defence of having acted in ‘good faith’, that is, in the public interest,” he said.
Haraszti asked the Senate to follow the suggestions of the lower house regarding the draft law on public security, and to bring the draft law on telephone surveillance and electronic eavesdropping in line with OSCE commitments and European press freedom standards.