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'The "Exodus” Trojan Case – "Appalling”, said Antonello Soro'

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'The "Exodus” Trojan Case – "Appalling”, said Antonello Soro'
(Ansa, 30 march 2019)

"What happened is appalling. The fact that hundreds of people having no connections whatsoever with criminal investigations have been intercepted because of a flaw in a Trojan used for those investigations is quite worrisome. More in-depth inquiries are necessary into this incident, and the Garante will also step in as appropriate.

The exact circumstances of the case have yet to be clarified and the chain of events must be brought to light. Nevertheless, what is unquestionable is that tools like these Trojans are quite dangerous: they can help investigations, but are also liable to give rise to unacceptable breaches of citizens' freedoms if they are deployed without the barest technical safeguards. We had drawn the Government's attention to these issues when we gave our opinion both on the draft legislative decree amending the interception laws – which also introduced regulations on the use of Trojans – and on the draft implementing decree that was supposed to lay down the appropriate safeguards in selecting the software for those purposes.

There is a lesson to be drawn from this case: we must be resolute in preventing similar breaches from occurring in future,  being aware that no mistakes may be allowed for in such a sensitive area – where investigational powers go hand in hand with no less strong technological applications. Investigational tools such as those at issue must be kept at the disposal of law enforcement bodies, as provided for by the law, but only if they are coupled with robust safeguards to protect citizens' freedom."