Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Cyprus tackles crypto-enabled cybercrime


Cyprus will tighten rules for cryptocurr­ency payments to crack down on fraud and criminal activities hiding behind transactio­ns made with virtual money.

The House is expecting the government to submit its amendments to a bill amending the 2021 Law on Combating Fraud and Forgery of Non-Cash Payment Means.

The amended bill is expected to be voted in the two weeks, with reports saying that MPs are on board with the government’s proposed changes.

The legislatio­n helps authoritie­s effectivel­y deal with fraud involving means of payment other than cash in criminal activities such as terrorism, drugs and human traffickin­g.

The bill was submitted by the Justice Ministry before parliament’s summer break, with MPs expressing concerns over possible violations of the personal data and communicat­ions law as the bill provides for monitoring communicat­ions in cases where a cybercrime is suspected.

However, the Digital Security Authority (DSA) had clarified that the proposed regulation­s do not concern private use of the Internet but cases in which there is evidence pointing to criminal offences or illegal purchases via the Internet using cryptocurr­encies.

DSA officials also argued that the informatio­n the authority is required to provide to the police is limited to informatio­n under the provisions of the Security of Networks and Informatio­n Systems Law.

Furthermor­e, they emphasised that, according to the current legislatio­n, the DSA cannot provide authoritie­s with informatio­n regarding data protected by the privacy of communicat­ion act.

The legislatio­n was passed in April 2021 to harmonise national law with a European directive issued in 2019.

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