The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation has issued a draft order allowing its agents to request information from cryptocurrency platforms among other organizations. The move follows changes made to the anti-corruption legislation in Russia, the agency noted.
FSB Wants Access to Crypto Data for Anti-Corruption Checks in Russia
Russia’s main law enforcement agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), has decided to grant its employees additional powers to acquire information from various organizations and institutions as part of efforts to combat corruption. A draft order has been published for public discussions and the FSB welcomes “independent anti-corruption expertise” on the matter.
According to the document, FSB agents will receive permission to file information requests with credit organizations, tax authorities, and government bodies responsible for the registration of rights to real estate during anti-corruption inspections. “Operators of information systems in which digital financial assets are issued” are also listed in the order.
The move comes after the introduction of amendments to Russian legislation pertaining to the fight against corruption. Since Jan. 1, 2021, digital financial assets such as cryptocurrencies are considered property in Russia. Information about crypto holdings should be reflected on income statements.
The requirement stems from a presidential decree signed by Vladimir Putin in December, 2020, regarding the implementation of the law “On Digital Financial Assets.” If approved, the order will affect bitcoin exchanges as FSB will be able to send these platforms inquiries, crypto news outlet Forklog noted in a report.
Putin’s order from last year compelled government workers in Russia to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. They were obliged to submit details about where they purchased the digital assets and their value. According to the document dated Nov. 10, 2020, children and spouses of state employees must also disclose their digital currency funds.
In August of this year, the Russian president tasked several ministries and the central bank with verifying information provided by government employees about their crypto assets. This order was issued as part of the country’s National Anti-Corruption Plan 2021-2024, which was approved with another decree signed by the Russian leader and published earlier the same month.