For me, I've lived under this Sword of Damocles for two years now. It began in January 2008 when I was invited to speak at a privacy conference at the University of Milan. I was approaching the University on foot, when I heard someone call my name. I turned around, and saw a guy in plain clothes, who told me to wait a minute, while he spoke into a cell phone, and within seconds, I found myself on the sidewalk surrounded by 5 Italian policemen. I had no idea what was going on. I was scared. I couldn't understand much, but I did understand that they wanted to take my passport, asked me to sign some documents, and wanted to escort me to a judge. I was allowed to put a call into my Italian colleagues at Google, who thankfully were able to rush to the scene and talk to the policemen. I was escorted by the policemen on foot through central Milan, with tourists and locals alike stopping to stare at the scene. My colleagues told the group of policemen that I was supposed to deliver a speech at the privacy conference shortly. After much discussion, it was agreed that I would be allowed to deliver the speech, after providing my passport and signing various documents that were being served on me, and that I would be interrogated by the Public Prosecutor afterwards.
And so, I was allowed to deliver this talk. If I look a little distracted, now you know why. [between us, I had to stop to vomit, but that part has been edited out.]
This whole Italian prosecution has been an ordeal. I just want it to be over soon. After two years, well, it's finally underway.