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Italian firm Studio Legale Sutti has been instructed to defend a client in a high-profile hacking case relating to the defacement of the Pentagon's website and almost 600 other sites
The client is accused of being part of a group known as Hi-Tech Hate, which defaced the sites last summer in protest against the G8 summit in Genoa. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported last month that six Italian youths aged between 15 and 23 had been arrested in connection with the unauthorised intrusion into computer systems. Among the sites affected were those of Nasa, the Italian Senate and a number of ministries, the Chinese government, US law courts and political parties around the world, including the UK. The public prosecution is said to be bringing 41 counts of unauthorised intrusion against the youths. The group published political statements against globalisation on the sites affected and regularly left a message to the relevant webmasters informing them that no other damage had been done to the system.
"The argument here is that a website which can easily be penetrated by a group of hobbyists is not protected by measures which are appropriate in any sense" Stefano Sutti, Studio Legale Sutti
Sutti's client denies any personal involvement in the case. Managing partner Stefano Sutti said his firm, which is well known for its technology practice, will also argue that the "penetration of an IT system is a crime, according to local criminal code, only if the system is protected by appropriate measures". He added: "The argument here is that a website which can easily be penetrated by a group of hobbyists is not protected by measures which are appropriate in any sense." The firm is a member of the Global Alliance for E-Commerce Law, which includes Ashurst Morris Crisp in the UK, Clayton Utz in Australia and Johnson Stokes & Master in Hong Kong.