Italy’s Surveillance of Cyber Cafes
This interesting story describes Italy’s strong antiterrorism laws, which require extensive monitoring of people’s use of the Internet in cyber cafes:
After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications services, like Mr. Savoni, to make passport photocopies of every customer seeking to use the Internet, phone, or fax. . . .
Passed within weeks of the London bombings this summer, the law is part of the most extensive antiterror package introduced in Italy since 9/11 and the country’s subsequent support of the Iraq war.
Though the legislation also includes measures to heighten transportation security, permit DNA collection, and facilitate the detention or deportation of suspects, average Italians are feeling its effect mainly in Internet cafes.
Before the law was passed, Savoni’s clients were anonymous to him. Now they must be identified by first and last name. He must also document which computer they use, as well as their log-in and log-out times.
Like other owners of Internet cafes, Savoni had to obtain a new public communications business license, and purchase tracking software that costs up to $1,600.
The software saves a list of all sites visited by clients, and Internet cafe operators must periodically turn this list into their local police headquarters.