Few days ago the Italian Minister of Home Affairs, Roberto Maroni announced that public Wi-Fi access will be liberalised in Italy from January 2011. As you may know, an anti-terrorism decree of 2005 (the so called "Decreto Pisanu", from the then-Minister of Home Affairs’ name, Beppe Pisanu) adopted serious restrictions on Wi-Fi access in public places, by forcing Wi-Fi providers to obtain a prior authorization from the police, to require users’ identity cards as well as to keep a record of the Internet connections. The Pisanu decree has been always criticised since the burdensome restrictions that it sets forth would have limited the setting up of Wi-Fi hot spots in Italy, so affecting the whole country's economic development. At a press conference, following a consultation with the Israeli security services, the Minister Roberto Maroni asserted that the recent technological developments and the changes in the anti-terrorism strategies would no longer justify such restrictions and that time for a full Wi-Fi liberalisation has come. According to the Minister, between now and December 2010 the government will consider which could be the adequate security standards, but he assured that, in any case, from January 2011 users will be free to connect to Wi-Fi hot spots without the restrictions introduced by the Pisanu decree.
It is not very clear whether a full liberalisation will be made or, as it seems the case, the actual restrictions will be simply replaced by a soft and less burdensome regulation. Rumours say that the authorization from the police will be no longer required, while a SMS-based identification system could be used instead of the identity cards. Of course we will inform you as soon as more detailed information will be available. Stay connected!
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