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Bosses can spy on staff on Facebook: court

An Italian boss who created a fake Facebook account in order to catch out an employee who was using the social networking site at work was not breaking the law, Italy's top court has ruled.

Bosses can spy on staff on Facebook: court
An Italian boss created a fake Facebook account of a woman to “lure” an employee away from work. Photo: Maria Elena/Flickr

The employee in question, who worked at a printing works in Abruzzo, central Italy, was fired for chatting on Facebook Messenger, an app used for conversations on Facebook, when he was supposed to be working. 

He was caught out after his boss created the fake Facebook account of a woman to “lure” him away from work to chat for 15 minutes, La Stampa reported.

As a result, the employee failed to intervene “promptly” when a sheet of paper became jammed in the printing press.
In the days following the incident the worker continued to send messages on the social networking site.

This week Italy’s Court of Cassation upheld the decision to dismiss the employee, ruling that the boss was acting within his rights to set up the fake profile because it concerned “the check of continuous illegal behaviour on the part of the employee”, already observed in the past.

The court also ruled that the locating of employees through Facebook access from their mobile is also permitted.

This isn't the first time an employee in Italy has lost their job for their activities on the Facebook app. 

In April a priest in southern Italy was defrocked for allegedly making gay sexual advances to a man on Facebook.

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CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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