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Parliamentary questions
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20 September 2007
by Adriana Poli Bortone (UEN) , Roberta Angelilli (UEN) , Cristiana Muscardini (UEN) , Sergio Berlato (UEN) , Umberto Pirilli (UEN) , Romano Maria La Russa (UEN) , Salvatore Tatarella (UEN) and Alessandro Foglietta (UEN)
to the Commission

 Subject: Telephone tapping in Italy
 Answer in writing 

When a joint resolution on terrorism was adopted there was much discussion regarding the proper balance between security measures and the protection of civil liberties and fundamental freedoms.

Within the European Union the principle of the pre-eminence of the law prevails and pursuant to that principle it is right and just that in the individual Member States a balance should be struck between investigative requirements and people's right to privacy.

It would appear that, in Italy, over one million individuals have recently been subject to telephone tapping authorised by public prosecutors for investigative purposes.

1. Will the Commission say whether such a procedure — which is worthy of a police state rather than a democratic one — is compatible with the principles upon which the European Treaties and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms are based?

2. Will the Commission say what impact such investigative activities have on Italy's budget?

3. Does the Commission not intend to ask the Italian Government to shed light on the public prosecutors' activities from the point of view of upholding fundamental rights and, if necessary, to launch an enquiry into telephone tapping in Italy?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 191, 29/07/2008
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