Interview with Undersecretary Tofalo: "we are a sovereign people ... we want to have our say on the tables that matter"

(To Federico Castiglioni)

(Interview released on the sidelines of the first event of the XVIII Legislature labeled "Collective Intelligence", v.articolo)

Undersecretary Tofalo today we talked about digitalization processes and the increasing investment promised by this government in continuity with the previous ones, in information technology by the public administration. Thinking of the various strategic assets of the state, not least the armed forces, do you not believe that this transfer to digital can expose Italy to more cyberattacks to which the country is not ready?

The country is always exposed to threats and dangers, but this can not be an alibi for those who want to curb technological innovation. Today we have presented to this seventh event on collective intelligence a deepening on blockchain technology that, as we have seen, can provide great flexibility and transparency by providing services to the public administration. Today we have talked about it as a mechanism to monitor fake news but also as a possible support for the construction of digital identity, as well as a possible tool for making online voting: just today I can not mention Gianroberto Casaleggio who was the first to guess potential of the Rosseau platform, today an instrument of participated democracy that can also be implemented by blockchain technology.

So somehow this process of direct democracy initiated by the 5 Star Movement can become a model for the state? I am thinking, for example, of the introduction of electronic voting ...

Surely. Already there have been applications, as during the referendum in Lombardy with the I-voting, different I emphasize from 'E-voting, and then there are steps forward. In every political or administrative election there are very often investigations that open up on alleged anomalous situations, so maybe the tool of electronic voting at the service of the public administration can prevent these problems.

Our readers are interested in the issues of Defense. The 5 Stars Movement has distinguished itself over the years for its somewhat critical positions towards Italian Defense and in particular on the military involvement of our country abroad. What is your idea about Italian missions, also in the framework of the existing European Union or United Nations initiatives that currently involve our men, both military and civilian?

We in the first years of the opposition have had a very critical approach, a criticism due to the fact that the government did not provide the right answers and the right data to Parliament and therefore to the sovereign people. We, as Minister Trenta has already said, we will be very careful to analyze every situation and decide from time to time for each scenario. It is clear that today as a government we have finally available all the data, even those reserved and secret, and therefore the President of the Council and the Minister of Defense will be able to make the most appropriate decisions and with more awareness. Today, having a clearer information framework, we can make choices that are certainly more careful.

All right, allow me one last question ...

... I would like to add something else that I think is important. We are in government with another political force with whom we have written a contract with specific points, including on defense. So there is nothing critical, everything will be evaluated on the merits.

A question on the European Union. This government has a difficult relationship with the EU and there are many open files at the same time: immigration, economy and defense. In the past few years Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign and Defense Policy, has spent a lot of time on a strengthened cooperation between European countries, aimed above all at research and development of military technologies. Given that this government is in discontinuity with the previous ones in both economic and migratory matters, will Italian support for this project change too?

Surely the open dossiers are numerous. This government wants to affirm something very simple: we are Italy, we are a sovereign people and therefore if we give money to the European Community we want to say ours on the tables that count. We will defend the will of the Italian people that this government expresses.

As far as the European Common Defense is concerned, this has been a debated topic for years and the first official document was that on cyber security, a new code that has been applied for two months also in Italy. This was perhaps the first real act of common defense. There is a lot of discussion about the rest, there are many funds that must be intercepted and we will certainly enter the game forcefully. This not only on armaments, I would say that we are mainly focused on Defense technologies to be used both in the military and in the civil sector, the so-called “dual use”. The government has already made it clear that it wants to continue along this path and therefore we will continue along this path.