EU politicians want to suspend banking data-sharing program

Following the claims that the NSA has spied on the Belgian-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) – the organization that provides the eponymous network that enables financial institutions around the world to send and receive information about financial transactions – European politicians are demanding the immediate suspension of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, which allows the US Treasury to access the SWIFT transaction database.

The suspension of the program was to be considered following the European Parliament resolution from July 4, that put into question the continuation of both the TFTP and the Passenger Name Record program, but this new revelation has obviously stirred a lot more anger.

“We constituted the legal basis for the transfer of data, which as imperfect as it may be, is at least legal. If the U.S. then decides to use other means to access that data, there is no justification. I want to know if they were they doing this back in 2010 when we were debating TFTP like idiots,” said Sophie In’t Veld, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament.

“I think there is more than enough evidence to call for a suspension. Formally, it is for the Commission to propose the suspension and then for the Council to decide. But we in Parliament can call for the suspension in the strongest terms.”

She was supported by Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German MEP, who said that the initial agreement was already offering insufficient data protection to European citizens.

According to Computerworld, the annual review of the TFTP is yet to be presented to the MEPs. They already weren’t satisfied with the findings of last year’s review, but this time things could really come to a head.

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