Saturday, 22 December 2007
Italy 2007: living without privacy
Use your imagination.
Can you imagine british newspapers and tv reporting the transcript and the audio of a private phone call made by David Cameron (leader of Conservative party, opposition party now) or by Nick Clegg (new leader of Liberal Democrats, opposition party now)?
Can you imagine french newspapers and tv reporting the transcipt and the audio of a private phone call made by François Hollande or Segolénè Royal (leaders of socialist party, opposition party now)?
Can you imagine US newspapers and tv reporting the transcript and the audio of a private phone call made by Hillary Rodham Clinton or by Barack Obama (members of the democratic party running for the presidential primaries, opposition party now)?
Italy is such an interesting country because it's far beyond imagination.
What can you do when the reality goes beyond imagination?
Basically, in Italy there is (or should i write "there should be"?) 2 levels of privacy.
The normal level applies to every citizen, article 15 of italian constitution says that the freedom and the privacy of the mail and any other way of communication are inviolable. Only the law can decide theese limitations (about communication).
There is a higher level of privacy for member of parliament and is totally understandable. Article 68 of italian constitution says the a MP (member of parliament) can not be recorded or listened without the majority vote of Senate or House of commons.
An italian newspaper printed the transcript (and the site the audio) of a phone call between Silvio Berlusconi (leader of one of the opposition parties) and a man working for Rai (italian state tv).
Tv news of rai1 talked about the phone call and they made the audience listening to part of the audio.
A lot of bloggers are talking about the content of the phone talk but i want to talk about the origin, how is it possible that in Italy there's no privacy?
Printing the transcipt and releasing the audio of a private phone call is a HUGE violation of privacy.
Violation of "basic" privacy and violation of privacy of a MP.
Berlusconi is upset and he, while he was talking to journalists and explaining the content of the phone call, said a bizzarre sentence (like a sociologist of communication) "sometimes the telephone is an oneiric zone".
Most people like this kind of things because most people like spying powerfull and famous people through the keyhole.
This kind of thing put the other newspapers and tv in a difficult situation, i would say a no-win situation.
If they cover the news and they talk about the content of the phone talk, people can blame them for violation of privacy.
If they don't cover the news, people can blame them for hiding the news.
Contradiction is part of modern mass media communication.