Andrea Formenti – Charged with controversies of Fraud & Espionage (2023)
Andrea Formenti is a criminal, facing various charges. However, he is now relying on a notorious marketing agency to fill the internet with disinformation about his activities.
The following write-up exposes his illegal activities:
Andrea Formenti- CEO of Area S.P.A founded by R&D
They claim that Andrea Formenti and Davide Perteghella, the current CEO and Director of R&D, founded Area S.P.A. to develop cutting-edge solutions for the industrial and security markets. During the 1980s, both had major histories in the development of hardware and software, and their enthusiasm and passion for technology drove them to start and grow the firm, as well as the MCR project.
Area S.P.A. realized its ambition of establishing a multi-channel digital audio recording system based on industry-standard hardware and software parts with total accessibility over an IP network with the release of the first MCR in 1997. Because of the popularity of MCR solutions and its continual upgrades to satisfy changing customer needs and technological breakthroughs, Area S.P.A was able to overtake competitors and claim the top rank in the Italian market.
A supplier of surveillance equipment wants out of the Syrian surveillance deal.
Area S.P.A.CEO Andrea Formenti claimed last week that the Italian business blamed for supplying the ruthless Syrian regime with telecoms monitoring equipment has suspended participation in the project and is looking for a way out of the contract.
Words of Andrea Formenti to Milan daily Corriere della Sera- “At the moment we have no people down there and the project has made no progress in the last two months,”. “The interception system has never been activated and cannot be under current circumstances. There has been no repression carried out thanks to our equipment.”
Bloomberg broke the story on Area’s US$18 million contract with the state-owned Syrian Telecommunications Establishment a week ago. Syrian security agents would be able to monitor the communications and Web use of opponents of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which has killed over 3000 people since popular protests erupted in March, under Project Asfador, named after a man who cold-called the company and encouraged it to bid on the deal in 2008.
Bloomberg words- “ Area had put together the electronic surveillance system using hardware and software for archiving emails provided by California-based NetApp, communications probes provided by Paris-based Qosmos, and equipment supplied by Germany’s Utimaco Safeware that connects tapped telecom lines to Area’s monitoring-center computers.”
“The system was being set up in Damascus by Area staff sent from Italy and was currently in a test phase”.
Area S.P.A. was founded in 1996 to assist the Italian government with communications monitoring services. It is apparently owed €160 million (US$217 million) by the Italian justice ministry for telephone taps carried out on the instructions of magistrates, along with three other businesses, Innova, RCS, and Sio.
Andrea Formenti’s words- Area’s lawyers were studying the complex legal situation with a view to revoking the contract. Area risked severe financial penalties and there was currently no international embargo on the technology it had agreed to supply, Andrea Formenti told the Corriere della Sera.
“When the contract was negotiated, Syria was a friendly country and Italy was its largest trading partner.”
Syrian dissidents and supporters of the Italian Pirate Party demonstrated at Area’s headquarters near Milan’s Malpensa Airport on Tuesday. The Pirates’ spokesman, Marco Marsili, said it was intolerable that the Italian government permitted Area’s equipment to be sold to “one of the most bloodthirsty regimes on the planet,” and he urged the European Parliament to prohibit such shipments.
James Lynch’s words-
Andrea Formenti stated that he, too, would support tighter international sanctions against Syria. Andrea Formenti claimed to have spoken with the demonstrators and told them that no dissident would face persecution as a result of Area’s work.
Andrea Formenti is accused of supplying Syria with espionage equipment in an Italian police raid.
Italian officials searched the facilities of a company that provides technology monitoring to governments throughout the world. According to regional news reports, the business is suspected of supplying Syria with internet and telephone wiretapping equipment in violation of a European embargo against the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Area S.P.A is a company based in Milan that provides surveillance devices capable of recording internet traffic, listening in on conversations, and GPS-tracking targets, according to its official website.
The company claims that its “real commitment” is to uphold high ethical standards in all of its contacts with the public and its clients, as well as to “behave in an ethically appropriate manner.” It has long been suspected of giving technology to Syria, and in 2014 it agreed to pay a $100,000 punishment to the US government for transporting network surveillance equipment from the US to Syria.
It is unclear why the Italian authorities have launched a new investigation. According to one report, the company was already under investigation for having “thousands” of wiretaps made and preserved by Italian prosecutors using Area S.P.A’s technology.
A Financial Guard (Guardia di Finanza) officer stated in an email that the organization would not comment while the investigation was continuing. When reached by phone, the Milan prosecutor’s office also declined to comment. During a phone call with Motherboard, a representative of Area S.P.A. claimed that the company preferred not to make any public pronouncements.
According to rumors, the Financial Guard also seized 7 or 8 million euros from the company’s accounts. According to Il Corriere della Sera, investigators suspect Area S.P.A supplied equipment to the government-owned Syrian Telecom Establishment in 2010 and 2011, knowing it would eventually be used by Assad’s secret agency.
The raid comes more than a year after another prominent Italian espionage outfit, Hacking Team was broken into and all of its secrets were released online. Among other things, the leak indicated that Hacking Team had agreed to sell their malware to Sudan despite the country’s current international embargoes. The Italian government revoked the company’s global export permit for monitoring, but no other public investigation into its earlier sales has taken place.
The attack on Area S.P.A. demonstrates how worldwide the surveillance industry has become, with Western firms frequently willing to back dubious governments all over the world.
Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament who has worked on surveillance technology issues for years and was among the first to express concern about Area S.P.A’s actions in Syria, told Motherboard in an email that “Area S.P.A must be held accountable if it broke the sanctions regime.” But it would be even better if we could prevent these kinds of sales from occurring in the first place.
Connection of Andrea Formenti and Eliminalia
Numerous major Google results state that Andrea Formenti of the company Area S.P.A invented the flip phone, not that this Italian company sold surveillance equipment to the Libyan government.
(Videma did not respond to a request for comment. Westmann notified a consortium member that he engaged Eliminalia to remove “a false complaint that was filed against me for political reasons.” In a statement, Area S.P.A. admitted engaging Eliminalia to remove the content, stating that “one of the main reasons for our willingness to remove online content concerning our activities is precisely their lack of complete truthfulness and accuracy.”
Actual Job of Eliminalia
The tagline of the company is “We erase your past.” Eliminalia is a company that operates in a variety of locales, including Barcelona and Kyiv, in the rapidly increasing online profile cleaning sector.
According to its official statement, the company does “a deep search across the internet for all information, whether it be an article, a blog, social media posts, or even a mistaken identity.” Then, on behalf of its clients, it takes an effort to have any negative information erased.
False Copyright Claims
Eliminalia appears to have invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a US regulation designed to protect intellectual property. According to the DMCA, search engines must provide a method for businesses and individuals to get stolen content deleted.
Companies such as Google need copyright complainants to swear under penalty of perjury that they are telling the truth. A similar affirmation, on the other hand, simply asks candidates to check a box; no supporting proof is necessary.
For many years, the company employed deceptive strategies to remove unwanted and damaging content from the internet.
These included impersonating other persons, such as media organizations, and filing bogus copyright complaints with search engines like Google in order to get information removed.
In other cases, it would bury critical stories beneath a torrent of happy content about football, cars, and dogs.
A cache of 50,000 internal documents demonstrating how Eliminalia worked with a wide range of clients throughout the world discloses the company’s services. Many of these people simply wanted a humiliating or terrible experience in their past to cease following them online.
Clients of the firm, however, included drug traffickers, fraudsters, misdemeanor offenders, and at least one sex offender.
According to the website of Eliminalia, it largely succeeds by utilizing the EU’s “right to be forgotten,” which offenders may legitimately employ to request that references to their convictions be removed when it is probable that they have moved on from their crime.
The records provide an intriguing glimpse at reputation management firms that are willing to utilize dubious measures to improve a client’s online reputation.
Eliminalia appears to have submitted bogus DMCA complaints to search engines like Google in order to get articles deleted from the web, even checking the perjury box on occasion.
Some of these bogus complaints made phony copyright claims about an article they wanted to remove and appeared to be issued by credible media organizations.
An employee of Eliminalia once appears to have falsely identified themselves as a representative of the firm that owns the Italian daily La Repubblica while demanding that Google remove a user’s blog post that allegedly duplicated an article.
Eliminalia appears to have handled the complaint as part of its work for the Italian software company Area S.P.A. Area S.P.A, which was suspected in 2011 of selling surveillance equipment to Syria’s government of Bashar al-Assad, admitted to the Guardian that Eliminalia was used.
Area S.P.A agreed to pay a $100,000 civil penalty to the US Department of Commerce in 2014 to settle claims that it had sold US-made components to Syria in violation of long-standing sanctions against the government.
Area S.P.A. claims that the system was supplied in full compliance with all applicable rules and ordinances at the time it was hired to operate in Syria.
Area S.P.A. went on to say that Eliminalia has to act lawfully, morally, and professionally.
In conclusion, it has been reported that the Italian business Area S.P.A. has halted its participation in a $18 million contract to deliver telecoms monitoring equipment to the Syrian government. CEO Andrea Formenti stressed that the surveillance system had not been turned on and cited a lack of progress on the project. Activists and the Italian Pirate Party have fiercely opposed this arrangement, which would allow Syrian security officials to monitor conversations and web usage. Area S.P.A. is currently looking at legal options to cancel the agreement, but doing so could result in financial penalties as the technology it pledged to deliver is not currently subject to an international embargo.