The Italian government has proposed a bill that would limit the use of phone intercepts and their publication in the media.

Experts say Italy is the most wiretapped Western democracy and Justice Minister Angelino Alfano said Friday that the proposed legislation is aimed at protecting the privacy of Italian citizens.

The proposed bill would limit the use of phone taps to serious cases involving organized crime and terrorist groups, as well as to corruption cases. Journalists who publish wiretap material during ongoing criminal investigations could be jailed for up to three years.

The bill must be approved by parliament. Critics say it will damage the fight against crime.