Italy comments on claim it tracked people with ‘pro-Kremlin’ views — Analysis

The government was forced to declassify a memo about “disinformation” during the Russian-Ukraine conflict

Italy rejected media reports that it was looking into public figures believed to have spread pro-Russian views. The government also published a classified document on Friday. “pro-Kremlin”Activities on social media caused outrage after parts were published to the press.

Franco Gabrielli (the state undersecretary of security) insists that the secret dossier of allegedly pro-Russian people was part of the government’s rumored confidential file. “actually nonexistent.” 

“There is no Big Brother, no Spectre in Italy: no one wants to investigate people’s opinions,” Gabrielli spoke of a bad organization in James Bond novels. “Opinions are always respected, which is different from fake news,” He added that “the only antidote to propaganda is free information.” Leakage of classified information to the media is however being investigated. “nothing will go unpunished,” Gabrielli stressed.

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The seven-page bulletin titled ‘Special Disinformation in the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict between April 15 and May 15’ was compiled by the Security Intelligence Department (DIS) with input from several other agencies and then sent to the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic (Copasir).

It explains the differences between them. “pro-Kremlin narratives,”On Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram, there was a lot of criticism about the Italian government, NATO and NATO. This also included a description of the social media channels through which Russian officials could be quoted. This data came from open sources. “no elements of intelligence activities,”Gabrielli.

Following a report by Corriere della Sera last Sunday, which claimed that intelligence officials identified Russian-related channels, the controversy erupted. “propaganda,”And that “the investigation launched by Copasir has entered its crucial stage.” It listed several individuals it claimed were members of the paper “Putin’s network in Italy,”This refers to Russia’s president. It included bloggers, journalists, and political commentators.

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According to the report, “pro-Putin activists”Supporters rallied behind Senator Vito Petrcelli, who was ousted as the chair of Senate’s foreign affairs committee after he opposed military aid to Ukraine.

Gabrielli spoke with reporters Friday to deny that Petrocelli (who was not listed in the declassified bulletin) was under investigation. The senator, however, dismissed Gabrielli’s press conference as “a political mess.”He had earlier attacked the Corriere dilla Sera Report as “unfair”. “a witch hunt against the freedom of thought and expression of parliamentarians, professors, columnists and reporters.”

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