Thursday, September 28, 2006

Italian wiretapping

The latest EDRI-gram recommends reading the British Academy's recent copyright report and has some more information on the Italian wiretapping scandal

"The chaotic way in which the public authorities have dealt with the situation is underlined in several articles that show the state institutions have reacted very late and only when their leaders' personal interests might have been at stake.

Andrea Monti from EDRI-member ALCEI has correctly underlined that the Italian Data Protection Commission, which should have controlled this market has only "succeeded" in sending a press release. He also points out that, contrary to the most spread common opinions that the "hackers", "pirates" and "direct marketing multinational companies" are those targeting our personal data, the authors of the biggest problems related to the misuse of information are actually insiders, not very technical, such as members of the Police and Information Services."

Makes you wonder about the parallels with the NSA domestic spying programme authorised by president Bush. The problem is not the huge majority of decent public servants working for these agencies but the few intent on corrupting or exploiting the system for their own nefarious ends. Ed Felten makes the same point in relation to Diebold's criticism of his paper pointing out a Diebold evoting machine is insecure. In addition Diebold have been complaining that it is unfair to claim their machines are insecure since they are never networked, yet the user manual for the machines tested by Felten and co. state that "Results [of elections] are transferred are [sic] by means of a TCP/IP network connection, either directly, by modem or ethernet." And as Felten points out anyway:

"Diebold’s insistence that the voting machines cannot be networked is especially odd given that the conclusions in our report don’t rely in any way on the use of networking — even if Diebold’s no-networking claim were true, it would be irrelevant."

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