Analyse and synthesis of the existing data

National initiatives Italy

Institutional Initiatives

The first category includes those initiatives connected to political and institutional environments, including the government, regional bodies and public investigations led by branches of the police.

To better understand the different points of view and actions connected with them, we will discuss some of these initiatives, starting from one of the most famous concerning the rules for the Self-Regulation Code 'Internet e Minori' (Annex 1), presented in 2003 by the Ministry for Innovation and Technologies.

The main goals, as indicated in the document available on the Internet are :

  • to help adults, minors and families use the Internet in a safer and much more aware way ;
  • to create strict rules in order to avoid risks and content dangers for young people ;
  • to offer safer access to young people ;
  • to defend youth rights linked to privacy ;
  • to ensure better cooperation in preventing, comparing and punishing computer crime, especially prostitution and child pornography, on the Internet.

The application of the code is supervised by a committee, which controls and administers punishments and rewards.

The basic approach of the Self-Regulation Code, as seen in the list of goals above, can be defined as protectionist, starting from a view of the Internet as a potential jungle of risks and dangers, things that actually can happen and cannot be denied. But obviously the code is not sufficient to guarantee young people's social and moral security.

What young people need is to develop the greater consciousness that comes from educational and media education initiatives at school and in the informal sector, including families and parents, to avoid the risk of demonisation of a resource for children.

The CORECOM (Regional Committee for Communication) initiatives represent another interesting reference point. These initiatives promote many actions, such as the project 'Internet e minori: navigazione sicura' ('The Internet and minors: safe surfing' - Annex 2), a practical experiment in implementing the use of the Internet as a resource, while bearing in mind the risks connected to it.

The project, conducted in several schools in Veneto (North-East Italy), intends to create a sort of guide for children, adolescents, parents and teachers to increase informed use of the Internet at school and at home with a certain sensibility. The guide includes a set of rules for parents ('parents' Ten Commandments'), a glossary, useful links and advice for children, all linking both the protectionist and the preparation paradigms.

Among institutional initiatives we should also mention the Postal Police investigations and research. We will not discuss these in detail, but it can be useful to underline the approach embodied, which is very close to the traditional investigational setting, deepening the nodes related to the analyses of the situation and the possible actions to prevent online crimes, such as child pornography,. Although the Postal Police research cannot be defined as pedagogical or educational, because it does not involve a pedagogical approach and educational attention to young people and their emotional and social needs, it may be very useful in creating a framework for public attention, for involving educational bodies and, obviously, in preventing crime.

Commercial initiatives

Commercial initiatives, which we mention only as symbol of the involvement of Internet providers and industry, include the definition of tools for families for safer use and behaviour protocols, underlining the importance of parents' direct involvement. There is also an obvious commercial interest in creating an attractive product that can be sold and bought by parents.

Among these commercial initiatives we will mention the parental control system 'Il Filtro' ('The Filter'), produced and distributed by commercial business sites. This is simply a filter to block messages and content that may present a danger in terms of children's morality and feelings. As underlined in relation the providers' initiatives, the commercial motive here is much more evident, but is not to be condemned.


Web development : Média Animation | W3C validated