News services of Italy

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With the law on the reform of the intelligence services of Italy of August 3, 2007 (124/2007), the Italian intelligence community was, after a long discussion, adapted from legal and formal aspects to the threat scenarios that developed after the end of the Cold War . The Prime Minister is politically responsible for the services and sets the operational priorities of the services in cooperation with an inter-ministerial steering committee (CISR, Comitato Interministeriale per la Sicurezza della Repubblica ). Subordinated to him

coordinates the work of the two services:

There is also the military specialist service (J2) based at the General Staff


Military intelligence services

A first intelligence agency was set up in Italy from 1863 to 1866 and then again from 1900 at the Army General Staff under the name Ufficio Informazioni (German: "News Office"). From this department the Servizio Informazioni Militare emerged in 1927 , which was not only Army Intelligence Service (G2), but was also responsible for the overall military situation (J2). In addition, intelligence agencies have also been set up in the Navy and Air Force (G2 / A2). After the fall of Mussolini , the SIM temporarily came under direct American control until its official dissolution at the end of 1945 . A number of former SIM employees worked for US services until 1949. In 1949, the military intelligence service Servizio Informazioni Forze Armate (SIFAR) and specialized intelligence services (G2 / A2) for the armed forces under the name SIOS were founded . The SIFAR was renamed Servizio Informazioni Difesa (SID) in 1965 , which resulted in a comprehensive reform of the SISMI's intelligence services in 1977 . The three SIOS services of the armed forces were merged in 1997 to form the Centro Intelligence Interforze , which is subordinate to the General Staff of the Armed Forces .

With the law on the reform of the intelligence services passed in summer 2007, the new Agenzia Informazioni e Sicurezza Esterna (AISE) took over the tasks of the SISMI. This demilitarized the foreign intelligence service. The intelligence service needs of the armed forces are covered by both the civil AISE and the still existing Centro Intelligence Interforze .

Civil intelligence services

The article on the Servizio Informazioni Generali e Sicurezza Interna gives a comprehensive overview of the history of the Italian civil intelligence services since 1878 .

Parliamentary control

The Italian intelligence services have been controlled by Parliament since 1978 . The responsible control body is called Comitato parlamentare per la sicurezza della Repubblica (abbr. Copasir ; Eng . "Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic") and consists of five deputies and five senators who are subject to the same confidentiality requirements as full-time intelligence workers.

From 1978 to 2007 this body was called Comitato parlamentare di controllo per i servizi di informazione e di sicurezza e per il segreto di stato (abbr. Copaco ; Eng . "Parliamentary Control Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services and for State Secrets ").

Intelligence reform

In August 2007 the Italian parliament passed a reform package that was drawn up jointly by MPs and senators of the coalition and the opposition. In place of the military SISMI and the civilian SISDE , the civilian foreign intelligence service AISE and the domestic intelligence service AISI were established. The military intelligence service of the General Staff ( Centro Intelligence Interforze ) continues unchanged. The coordination tasks of the previous CESIS are taken over by the DIS intelligence department, which is in turn located at the Prime Minister's Office .

The reform law provides, among other things, a maximum time limit for state secrets of 30 years (previously unlimited), a clear regulation for dealing with public prosecutor's investigations in the event of official violations of the law by agents, a reorganization of data protection in the intelligence work, a financial review of the services a special position at the Court of Auditors , a clear division of tasks (foreign / domestic - sicurezza esterna / interna ) of the two intelligence services AISE and AISI, a strengthening of the DIS coordinating body , and more powers for the parliamentary control commission. The two civil intelligence services are subordinate to the Prime Minister or a minister appointed by him without a portfolio or state secretary . However, in certain areas they are also bound by instructions and orders from various ministries, particularly those of the Foreign, Interior and Defense Ministries.

Selected employees of the intelligence services are permitted to commit crimes in special and justified individual cases. Exceptions to this are acts that are directed against personal dignity and freedom and the physical integrity of people. In addition, the law provides for a number of other restrictions. Criminal offenses can only be committed if the Prime Minister or his delegate has given written consent. There are strict regulations for subsequent approvals. Public prosecutor's investigations can be stopped in this context.

In December 2015, a law came into force that allows the Prime Minister, after hearing the parliamentary control body, to order the use of special military forces in the context of intelligence operations if a crisis abroad affects the national security of Italy or if the protection of Italian citizens abroad does not occur can be guaranteed otherwise.

See also

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