IT and telecommunications law is a highly innovative area of criminal law and is aimed at protecting the security of electronic and telecommunications networks as well as information systems, which are increasingly affected by the growing spread of computer viruses. Its strategic importance has increased exponentially, in parallel with the rapid increase in the number of users and the value of transactions carried out on the networks themselves. Today, IT security and data protection play an essential role both from a social and an economic point of view.
Even so, the danger to exposure intensifies as technology evolves, which has also made new unlawful conducts possible (forms of attack on computer systems and on-line defamation are a case in point). Such conducts are commonly defined as cybercrimes.
Italian lawmakers have adopted countermeasures since 1993, through law no. 547, to address the issue of cybercrime. The amendments made by law no. 48 of 18 March 2008 have been equally important, as they ensured to enact the so-called “Budapest Convention” of 23 November 2001. This has also led to the possibility that even companies may be liable for computer crimes (see Article 24 bis of legislative decree 231/2001).
Another important aspect of this area of criminal law is the protection of personal data, which has been bolstered by EU regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) in its attempt to protect individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free circulation of such data, which modified the Italian regulations contained in legislative decree no. 196 of 30 June 2003 (Italian personal data protection code).
To meet the growing need for lawmakers to combat cybercrime, which damages not only property interests but also the integrity of sensitive data and the secrecy of IT communications, new crimes have been introduced into our criminal system over the years, including crimes against the person and against property, thus allowing for new ways to protect citizens from cybercrimes. These include:
- unauthorized access to an IT or online system (615 ter of the penal code);
- illegal possession and dissemination of access codes to IT and online systems (615 quater of the penal code);
- the dissemination of equipment, devices or computer programs aimed at damaging or interrupting an IT or online system (615 quinquies of the penal code);
computer fraud (640 ter of the penal code).
One of Baccaredda Boy Law Firm’s largest clients is a multinational company operating in the field of telecommunications. Hence, the Firm’s assistance in legal consulting ranging from security and privacy policies to protection in criminal matters.
Baccaredda Boy Law Firm has been the civil claimant in the so-called ‘Telecom trial’.
Baccaredda Boy Law Firm also offers an in-depth analysis of IT and telecommunications law through conferences, study groups and publications. In this respect, please refer to the relevant section.