Italy votes to curb wiretaps

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Italy votes to curb wiretaps

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A controversial bill to curb police wiretaps and criminalise leaked transcripts has been passed by the Italian Senate.

But the vote in the upper house descended into chaos when a group of opposition lawmakers occupied the government benches, forcing the session to be suspended twice.

Democrat MP, Anna Finocchiaro, was one of the fiercest critics.

She said her group would not take part in the vote because they felt that “freedom was about to be massacred.”

Most centre-left senators walked out of the room refusing to vote on what they call a “gagging law.”

But defenders of the bill say the rules are needed to protect privacy.

Maurizio Gasparri of the People of Freedom party cited a 1995 Constitutional Court ruling saying it was legitimate to ban information being leaked because it can help criminals escape justice.

However many protestors say the law is another attempt by Silvio Berlusconi to shield himself from prosecution while in office.

The opposition has now called for a general strike next month on the day the lower house votes on the measure.