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Police of Cyprus will receive the right to wiretap

Police of Cyprus will receive the right to wiretap

14.05.2018
Tags: Cyprus, Laws, Police, Special Services

After a burst of criminal activity in Cyprus, the authorities are trying to toughen the system of prevention and investigation of crimes. Minister of Justice Jonas Nicolaou urged the parliament to pass a bill that would allow police and special services to listen to telephone conversations and read electronic correspondence of suspects in committing crimes or preparing for them. The document was submitted by the Justice Ministry for approval to the parliament on 22 September 2017.

[In Cyprus] there is still no law on wiretapping, "the head of the Ministry of Justice and Public Order once again complained.

Trying to speed up the procedure for adopting the document, the Justice Ministry presented the bill to the leaders of the parliamentary parties. The police and the Intelligence Service (KYP) have repeatedly called for the approval of a bill that will become an effective tool in the fight against crime, reports Phileleftheros.

According to the current legislation, the police have no right to listen to telephone conversations of suspects. Access to conversations can be obtained only by detaining a person and applying to a court for a permit that allows you to obtain data from mobile providers and Internet service providers after the fact.

After the adoption of the law, the authorities will acquire special equipment and computer programs that allow them to conduct legal audits of conversations and electronic correspondence of suspects in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. In addition, for this you will need to receive court orders.

The bill is needed not only so that the police can officially get access to the negotiations of the suspects and use the data obtained for operational work, but also to show the content of telephone conversations as evidence in court.

But even if the police have data on who was talking on the phone, when and at what time, to prove that they are evidence will not be easy due to the availability of prepaid cards (for example, SoEasy), because the owner of such a phone number is not registered in database of the mobile company.

Listening and perusal will be possible only in cases related to serious crimes.

Crimes in which a court may issue a warrant for listening

  • Threat of national security of the Republic of Cyprus
  • Murder
  • Attempt
  • Human trafficking
  • Trade, delivery, distribution, cultivation and production of drugs
  • Internet crime (for example, child pornography)
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Money laundering

A clear list of cases in which the police will have access to the audition is necessary in order to prevent abuse.

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