In some ways, one can almost understand why Berlusco and Co want to reduce the level of telephone tapping which goes on in the Living Museum. Well, I can now, after having heard the number phone tapping operations which took place during 2007 in Italy on the news this evening.
Over in the CIA, FBI, NSA run US, although this is a little hard to believe, only around 1,700 telephone conversations were listened in on last year. While in France, the joys of telephone tapping led to around 20,000 calls being spied upon. In the UK only around 5,300 potential bad guys had their telephone calls bugged.
Meanwhile in the mafia HQ that is Italy, nearly 130,000 people managed to attract the attention of Italy’s security services last year. Wow! There must be one heck of a lot of bad guys in this country. Not to mention an awful lot of policemen who don’t do much all day apart from listening in on other peoples calls, and reading text messages and emails.
The figures telling of this veritable avalanche of phone tapping came from an Italian socio-political research institute called EURISPES. This organisation calculated that, back in 2005, one Italian in four had had his or her telephone conversations, text messages or emails intercepted by security services seeking instances of dodgy dealings.
Over the last 10 years or so, some 30 million Italians have come under surveillance of one type or another. This figure may even put the ECHELON efforts to shame. So much for Italy’s draconian privacy laws!
As a matter of interest, all the information on the level of telephone tapping surveillance appears to have been brought to light by none other than Berlusconi’s very own party. I wonder why.
Odd that not many people seem to be investing in the subject of my ‘The Politicians’ Favourite Cell Phone‘ post.