National Telecommunications in Cyprus were provided on a monopoly basis by the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) a public corporation established by Law CAP302 from 1954 until 01.01.2003. Such monopoly was extended to international services in 1962. CYTA was both the Regulator of the sector and the service provider being subject to controls imposed by law and regulation approved by the legislature. The only exceptions to this monopoly was the terminal equipment market which was liberalized by regulations adopted by CYTA in 1989, and later in 1996, internet service provision which was liberalized by CYTA through contractual arrangements with prospective internet service providers. Laws enacted in 2002, provided for thee stablishment of a Corporationsole the Commissioner of Telecommunications and Postal Regulation/ (later renamed the Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Regulation) (hereafter “the Commissioner”) and for the gradual transfer of CYTA’s powers to him as from 1st January 2003 and the abolishment of the monopoly in service provision by the issuing of licenses to other service providers. By the 1st of May 2004 date on which Cyprus joined the European Community the electronic Communications sector was fully liberalised the Commissioner being the National Regulatory Authority. CYTA remains a public corporation but its activities are limited to service provision.
The Cyprus Constitution adopted in 1960 in addition to the protection of every persons private and family life (Art 15) which is subject to exceptions necessary for the interests of security of the Republic or public safety or order or public health or morals or the protection of the rights and liberties of others specifically protects the secrecy of correspondence and other communications. Art. 17 of the Constitution as it was before its amendment provided:
“1. Every person has the right to respect for, and to the secrecy of, his correspondence and other communication if such other communication is made through means not prohibited by law.
2. There shall be no interference with the exercise of this right except in accordance with the law and only in cases of convicted and unconvicted prisoners and business correspondence and communication of bankrupts during the bankruptcy administration.”
The sixth amendment to the Constitution passed in 2010 deleted and replaced Sub Article