Italy's surveillance toolbox

Research on Monitoring Italian Government Surveillance Capabilities by means of Transparency tools

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This project aims to take advantage of the availability of public procurement data sets, required by anticorruption transparency laws, to discover government surveillance capabilities in Italy.

In this talk I'll present a mixed-strategy approach, based on transparency and privacy activism, to uncover government capabilities analyzing procurement data of Ministry of Interior, Justice and Defense that are allowed by law to buy and use surveillance products and services.

This project will present manifold outcomes, such as the mapping of surveillance capabilities, monitoring governmental expenditures, discovering governmental project codenames, providers and peculiar participants of surveillance related tenders.

The project will take advantage of the new italian FOIA laws by asking for:
- all invoices of each company that we found out selling surveillance technologies to the government
- all technical and economic offers of all the contractors related to surveillance technologies

Preliminary findings of the prototyping phase have been presented at the Freedom Not Fear 201, where we described the strategy we are using and talked about some early results showing documents we received with a FOIA requests: the Ministry of Interior provided us with 85 invoices issued by Area SpA, an italian surveillance company known for selling surveillance technology to Egypt.

Thus, with this project, we’ll try to shed light on the use of surveillance technologies providing a public database of knowledgeable information that can help to hold governments accountable for violations of human rights.

In this talk I'll show early results in:
- Mapping surveillance capabilities of the Government
- Updating a database of companies selling surveillance tech
- Discovering official resellers of other foreign surveillance companies
- Detailing governmental expenditures for surveillance technologies

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