Elias Hazou reports:
Debates on amending Article 17 of the Constitution, which would allow police to monitor electronic communications, has become bogged down in tricky legal terrain.
The House Legal Affairs Committee has more or less agreed on the broad strokes of a draft bill. Under the proposed legislation, phone and Internet surveillance would be permitted in the investigation of criminal cases, specifically: premeditated murder; manslaughter; attempted murder; trafficking of human beings (adults and minors); trade, trafficking, distribution, cultivation and manufacturing of narcotics; internet-related crimes, such as child pornography; currency forgery; and money laundering.
But deputies are now discussing how to amend the relevant article of the Constitution, which safeguards privacy in communications. The issue before parliamentarians now is whether a special majority of two-thirds of the plenum is needed, as is normally the case when amending the Constitution, or whether a simple majority will do.
Read more in The Cyprus Mail.