Italian Internet Law


July 5, 2006

Here in Italy, where I am pretending to be on vacation (but am really writing in my blog), I see that the law requires the following data to access the internet:

  • Date and time of access
  • Name and Surname
  • Passport number (I actually think any official ID is OK, since I have visited a number of Internet hot spots in Rome and Florence and see others using drivers licenses, etc.)

At some level, this reduced the confidentiality problem. At home, I can just pay money to use an Internet cafe (if I can find one) and no one is the wiser. Here, you might be able to trace me to a specific computer *if* the people who are running the hotspot are really good about making one sign in and assigning customers to a specific computer. The people who are in this Internet cafe business are very good about the record keeping, and those who just have an extra computer that they rent out for two euro per hour are not as exacting. They try.

BTW, Internet time and telephone time are the only two bargains I have found in Italy. (I paid $17.00 for 22 minutes of Internet time, which included a computer, in the Cincinnatti airport. That’s about 14 euros. Seven hours of time in Italy. And you wanted to know how this was about conversion rate, right?)