The Academic Year 2000/2001 of SISDe's Training School was officially inaugurated, in the presence of Home Office Minister Enzo BIANCO, on November 29th. Every year this ceremony represents an opportunity to stop and think about intelligence and about the need for Service members to keep abreast of developments. In this way, they are able to understand all the socio-cultural changes at both national and international level and to perceive the domestic security-relevant aspects. Lecturers and experts invited to hold conferences and seminars guarantee a high standard of professional know-how and also the cultural pluralism essential to those operating within the security field, to fulfill to their best the task of protecting the constitutional order. This year Mr. Elio CATANIA
(Chairman and Managing Director of IBM Italy) has been invited to speak; this choice is not casual as it leads directly to the Internet and to the significant changes it has brought about both in the public and in the private sectors.
Terrorism is another key subject addressed in this number of Per Aspera ad Veritatem. Maurizio LAUDI, a front-line Public Prosecutor, touches upon some delicate and controversial aspects of domestic terrorism in the opening interview
. Terrorism in its international perspective is instead focused upon by Igor MAN in his contribution
published in Part I. He knowledgeably explores the Middle Eastern powder-keg, traditional breeding ground for radical and fundamentalist movements which use terrorism as a strategic tool. Valeria PIACENTINI's article
, published in the same section, provides a general outlook on the delicate balance of power in the Middle East, a markedly unstable area where any change may have dramatic implications. The same subject is central also to the interesting volume by Edgar O'BALLANCE, reviewed in Part V
, which deals with State sponsorship of terrorist organisations.
More documents testify to the efforts that the international community is making to reduce the destabilizing impact of indiscriminate violence. Great Britain, for years troubled with episodes of serious domestic and international terrorism, has recently issued a new piece of legislation (Terrorism Act in Part III
), which, in the intention of Parliament, should strike a right balance between an efficient repressive action and the protection of human rights. The debate leading to the approval of the Act was particularly intense and many humanitarian organisations, among them Amnesty International, have spoken out loudly on the subject, in order not to be ignored by Parliament. The United Nations too has shown a constant interest to supply the International Community with proper tools to bind States to comply with a common set of anti-terrorism rules. The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, currently awaiting signature by those Nations in agreement, represents a first step towards the elaboration of a more complete document on terrorism (currently under examination).
Privacy and secrecy are crucial for a successful intelligence activity. In the new information era they need a redefinition with reference to principles, values and rules. In the past Per Aspera ad Veritatem often dealt with this subject. In the present issue we publish the recently issued third judgment by the Constitutional Court on the clash of competences between the Prime Minister and the Bologna Judicial Authorities, a case very familiar to regular readers. Along the same path moves the bill published in Part II
on the changes to current legislation on State Secrecy by Deputies BIELLI and LEONI.
It is well known that the problem of jurisdiction in cyberspace and, in more general terms, of illegal activities carried out through the web and possible ways to combat them, is extremely topical and controversial.
Last November the Paris Court, within a wider repressive action of pro-nazi propaganda, issued a very significant judgment against one of the best known American portals, inflicting heavy penalties. We publish the text believing it to represent the first step towards a much needed common set of rules to regulate the many aspect of Internet use.
As usual the half-yearly Government Report
on the Intelligence and Security policy is published among the Documents of Interest. It represents an essential liaison between the Executive and the Parliament on subjects which, for their specific nature, are of wide institutional relevance for the entire Community.
Last December, at the Nice European Union summit, the Charter of Fundamental Rights
was approved. The text, in Italian and in English, is included in Part III of the present issue of Per Aspera ad Veritatem. The document, to date strictly of political value, is nevertheless extremely significant as it may lead the way towards a future European Constitution.
Part IV is dedicated this time to the Danish intelligence system
. Like other Scandinavian and Baltic countries, a single structure fulfills both law enforcement and intelligence tasks.
The section on bibliographic recommendations opens this time with an interview with Dario BIOCCA
. Together with Mauro CANALI, he is the author of a historic research leading to the exposure of the famous writer Ignazio SILONE as an informer of the fascist political police. Whoever has followed the recent debate within cultural circles knows the controversial reactions caused by these revelations. The questions asked aim at enlighting the difficulties encountered by the authors in their research effort, and we hope this could be of interest to our readers. More valuable and interesting volumes are reviewed in the same section. Among them we signal the book by STAFFORD on the relationship between Churchill and the Secret Service, the one by BOVE' and DUFOUR
, a sort of manifesto of the anti-globalisation movements and finally the interesting
interview with Giovanni PELLEGRINO, Chairman of the Commission on Mass Murders, included in the volume Segreto di Stato, and also the recent essay by SARTORI
, on the much debated issue of immigration and new multi-ethnic societies.
This number of Per Aspera ad Veritatem closes as usual with the Historical Curios
. This time we present an abstract from a pleasant booklet by Aldo DE MEI on a spy story in seventeenth century Italy. It may come as a surprise to discover that in a little village called Amatrice a significant part of the battle between the pro-Spain and pro-France parties, at the time confronting each other to gain supremacy in the various regions of the Italian peninsula, was fought.