Could It Happen Here?


It’s one thing when the information about who your neighbors give campaign contributions to is public, but it’s quite something else to know what every citizen earned and what they paid in taxes. Don’t panic it hasn’t happened here in the U.S. but the Italian government published it all. And yup, the government’s web site was taken down after a formal complaint from the country’s privacy watchdog.

The release of the information was one of the last acts of the outgoing centre-left government and has shocked many tax-shy Italians. . . . But it was also hugely popular, and within hours the site was overwhelmed and impossible to access.

The finance ministry described the move as a bid to improve transparency.

The transparency ploy has generally been regarded as an end of term sour grapes move.