Italy Massively Taps Its Citizens’ Phones

March 20 22:17 2005 Print This Article

Italians are known for speaking their minds, pouring out their hearts and just generally speaking loudly, in public. So it would seem hard to keep a secret there.

But even Italians, who are used to airing their lives in public, believe authorities may be going a bit too far in tapping mobile phone conversations.

The largest operator, Telecom Italia Mobile, or TIM, has informed government officials that it can’t keep up with requests for more taps. Currently, the company’s 5,000 duplicate lines, which are used for eavesdropping, are being used.

Based on the number of TIM cell phone subscribers, that means about 15,000 are being bugged at any given time.

Authorities say they have to rely on taps and recorded evidence because witnesses are so fearful of testifying in cases where Mafia justice reigns.

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