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EU Committee Says No To Bank Data Sharing 160

Posted by kdawson
from the over-here-we-still-have-privacy dept.
krupert writes to let us know that the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament has voted to revoke the data-sharing arrangement by which US intelligence agencies have access to EU banking data via the SWIFT system. The US has threatened to withhold cooperation on terrorist intelligence if the bank data deal now in place is canceled, which it will be next week if the full European Parliament votes in line with the committee's recommendation. US intelligence agencies clandestinely tapped the SWIFT interbank clearing data from just after 9/11 until 2006, when the secret arrangement was made public. After that, Belgium-based SWIFT pulled their servers from the US and set up shop in Brussels, and the US had to negotiate with the EU to keep tapping the data.
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EU Committee Says No To Bank Data Sharing

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:46PM (#31047402) Journal

    This is a great thing. US has no fucking business to our banking data or any other thing. The fact that US also did this secretly against a Belgian company is just outstanding and shows the level of hypocrisy going on (just like China secretly accessing Google's data anyone?!)

    Now if they just would get UK out of EU it would actually be quite an intelligent organization.

    • by rvw (755107) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:07PM (#31047518)

      This is a great thing. US has no fucking business to our banking data or any other thing. The fact that US also did this secretly against a Belgian company is just outstanding and shows the level of hypocrisy going on (just like China secretly accessing Google's data anyone?!)

      I totally agree. This is another reason that we cannot trust the US anymore. Their only interest is their own interest, and everything else they do and say is hypocrisy. They sold out on all of their values. And I mean the US government, including the whole political system, but not all people living there. US business is a very bad factor in the world as well (think of banks), but the US state makes this possible.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        We in the US stopped trusting our government fifty years ago. I'm surprised it's taken Europe this long to realize that COINTELPRO wasn't an isolated incident.

      • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@SLACKWAR ... org minus distro> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:08PM (#31047904)

        I have a funny conspiracy theory for you: :)

        You may know that in Islamic countries, banks have to follow special rules of morale. The stuff that did happen in the US, is highly illegal in e.g. UAE.
        So the theories goes like this:
        The banking crisis did not really affect Islamic banks.
        Which means that the whole banking crisis was the biggest and most successful terrorist attack by Islamic “leaders” yet.
        And it was teamwork with China, who sold you crap that you don’t need, so you buy it with lend money that you don’t have... and is also coming from China.

        Now all we have to find out, is how Islamic banks control China. ;))

        P.S.: Protip: If you took this seriously: *whoooosh* ;)

        • by V!NCENT (1105021)

          While you are trying to be funny, you are actually quite correct and if you haven't written that joke sentence your post would be extremely interesting.

          My protip: ofcource it is not a conspiracy or a planned islamic attack, but it is kinda like it is....

      • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:15PM (#31047942)

        I totally agree. This is another reason that we cannot trust the US anymore. Their only interest is their own interest, and everything else they do and say is hypocrisy. They sold out on all of their values. And I mean the US government, including the whole political system, but not all people living there. US business is a very bad factor in the world as well (think of banks), but the US state makes this possible.

        Everyone puts their own interests first. The EU is likely reject this treaty because doing so is in their own interests.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by V!NCENT (1105021)

          One of the points of pro-EU was that together one stands stronger and that they have did so now makes me like the EU a lot more because it shows that its interest is in the people and not in corruption (partialy, yet or both).

          • by Neoprofin (871029)
            The EU is still fairly corrupt, it's just not Pro-US corruption so it can't automatically be judged as evil. They're still perfectly happy to export all of the major polluting industries to claim a lower carbon footprint and screw with grain markets in Africa because it's prestigious to buy EU import rice instead of the local grown varieties. The whole "every nation is equal" thing hasn't really been recognized for governmental bidding but old prejudices die hard. That's not to say that the EU doesn't have
        • by dryeo (100693)

          Some are smart enough to realize that it is in their self-interest to look after the interests of their friends and neighbors.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FiloEleven (602040)

        As a US citizen living under this government, I agree fully. It has taken on a life of its own that is miles away from serving the will of the people as it was intended to.

        I'm glad that the EU is taking steps to bind the beast. Those of us living in this country need to start large-scale protests over all the bullshit that's been dumped on us citizens and increasingly the rest of the world, and we need to get the rest of the populace to retake the mantle of The Public and the responsibility that it entail

        • by V!NCENT (1105021)

          In order for getting a number of people to reach critical mass for a protest, or a multitude of protests, one must first make sure that rich education reaches the critical mass first. That's going to be a hell of a job... And by education I do not mean a bunch of YouTube videos that scream "You see?!?!"...

          • by V!NCENT (1105021)

            PS: And by protest I meant succesful/meaningful protest

          • No, as useful as the Internet is, few will be convinced by a YouTube video. The best way to inform people is still face-to-face dialogue--that way any questions or objections they have can be answered. You're right, it's not going to be easy, but if enough people take up the task it is doable. Even if I end up being wrong about that, it is in my opinion a worthy use of my time.

      • by beh (4759) * on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:25PM (#31048006)

        I like the fact 'the US has threatened to withhold cooperation on terrorist intelligence if the bank data deal now in place is cancelled'.

        At the Munich security conference today they stated that this data is important and it already helped stopping attacks...

        EU politicians would like some evidence of this... ...since the 'US cooperation' so far has never led to them actually give any indication of this.

        Strange kind of cooperation...

        I'm kind of siding with EU politicians who say that this has already opened the door to some degree of industrial espionage, when the US can trace what kind of money flows exist between various companies.

        • Nothing new under the sun. Remember when an American corporation build a email system for the EU politicians? Somewhere in the '80ies IIRC. Email was said to be read by NSA officials before the intended recipient read the email. Next round of trade negotations between EU and USA were a disaster for the EU. This lesson has cost us billions.
      • And I mean the US government, including the whole political system, but not all people living there.

        What? You probably shouldn't trust us regular folks. We eat babies over here, you know!

        • by VON-MAN (621853)
          "We eat babies over here, you know!"

          Yes, very funny.
          But in fact, "Think about the children" is what stirs you regular folk.
      • by poena.dare (306891) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @06:20PM (#31048334)

        This US citizen agrees whole-heartedly.

        "The US has threatened to withhold cooperation on terrorist intelligence if the bank data deal now in place is canceled..."

        One would think that if combating terrorism was truly a US priority, the administration would continue to share terrorist intelligence regardless of what the EU does and instead threaten to withhold chicken wings, or iPhones, or Big Macs, or something else NOT security related.

        • by Xest (935314)

          "One would think that if combating terrorism was truly a US priority, the administration would continue to share terrorist intelligence regardless of what the EU does and instead threaten to withhold chicken wings, or iPhones, or Big Macs, or something else NOT security related."

          The US under both Bush and Obama have already made this threat before, to Britain, when British courts wanted to release some intelligence documents that proved US and possibly British agents were guilty of torturing a British citiz

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @08:50PM (#31049318) Journal

        It is a damned shame how we won the cold war only to become that which we fought against. Might as well change the meme now. Oh well I'll start "In Soviet Amerika bank shares YOU!"

        Seriously though as an American I'd like to say I'm sorry. This really wasn't the country so many of my relatives bled and shed blood for across many a battlefield. Sadly there isn't much we can do since the media conglomerates now own more than 75% of all mainstream news sources and BOTH parties (for those non USA we only have two parties. The others aren't allowed airtime and have NO chance of winning) are all for more big government, more spying, and less freedom for all.The only real difference anymore between D and R is that the Ds kiss the booty of big media, and the Rs love to blow defense contractors, and that's about it.

        So sorry world, we are pretty much circling the drain ATM. Hey it was fun while it lasted, and thanks for all the oil.

      • by Neoprofin (871029)
        US business also includes Apple, Google, "Hollywood", and a dozen other things much of the world would be rather unhappy to be without. The US is profoundly shit much of the time, it's also pretty incredible fairly often. Take the good with the bad like anything else.
    • by patro (104336)

      This is a great thing. US has no fucking business to our banking data or any other thing.

      Or at least if they want this data then obviously they must share all US banking data with us in the spirit of cooperation.

      One sided data sharing is out of the question.

    • I recommend moving to Switzerland. As long as you can limit the alcohol drinking... ;)
      They are not in the EU, it’s warmer, the food is better, the scenery is beautiful, they have a great air force, and nobody is going to put the country under pressure, that has all his money, anyway. ^^
      Plus, you get a (partially?) direct democracy with referenda. Which is the most valuable of all properties.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:29PM (#31048028)

        I recommend moving to Switzerland. As long as you can limit the alcohol drinking... ;)
        They are not in the EU, it’s warmer, the food is better, the scenery is beautiful, they have a great air force, and nobody is going to put the country under pressure, that has all his money, anyway. ^^
        Plus, you get a (partially?) direct democracy with referenda. Which is the most valuable of all properties.

        Yeah, I hear it's a great place to live if you're a white, christian, non-slavic person of northern european descent with a lot of money.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, I hear it's a great place to live if you're a white, christian, non-slavic person of northern european descent with a lot of money.

          So, it's a kind of a European reservation for a minority, then?

        • by VON-MAN (621853)
          Bah, the whole world is a great place to live if you have a lot of money.
        • You don't know squat. I live there, I grew up in switzerland too. We have a stupid polulistic party called SVP which has made quite some noise and it gained international media presence. Not much has changed here. We have social security, universial healthcare, very low unmployment rate and a high (above EU and certainly above US) living standard. Free education for everyone and (you don't have to be richt to go to the university, its financed by the country) ... well, less nazis than the US (per capita), i
      • by digitig (1056110)

        it’s warmer

        Than where? Greece? Southern Spain? Don't think so.

        the food is better

        If you can live on a diet of cheese and chocolate. Would you happen to be American?

        the scenery is beautiful

        I'll give you that one.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:37PM (#31048084)

      This is a great thing. US has no fucking business to our banking data or any other thing. The fact that US also did this secretly against a Belgian company is just outstanding and shows the level of hypocrisy going on (just like China secretly accessing Google's data anyone?!)

      Now if they just would get UK out of EU it would actually be quite an intelligent organization.

      The thing that amazes me is that the EU denies because of privacy concerns and then the US tries to negotiate (sometimes called 'blackmail') the deal by withholding intelligence on terrorism!

      And so the issue is quite clear. Give up your privacy else the US will not try to help prevent terrorism despite the US's declaration of a war on terror and its facade of integrity to 'do its best' in that effort.

      I am sincerely bothered that a nation so 'right' about terrorism and its purposes of fighting terrorism, would not do everything possible to prevent it, and would deliberately NOT fight terrorism for petty political purposes.

      And the US wonders why people around the world hate them... It's scary that the rest of the world sees the difference between the words and the actions but the democratic voters of the US are largely unaware. I guess this is partially due to the fact that American Politics are so bipartisan that the focus of questions is on the party and not of the sum of the whole. Thus they have news that relates to how one candidate might be wrong, or another might be corrupt, but none that truly reflects upon or questions the actions of the nation as a whole.

      It isn't a conspiracy theory to say that major media in the US is in cooperation with its corporations and lobbies to make more money; the connections are clear and publicly available. It isn't any stretch of imagination to think that a corporate news source that is directly connected to other forms of business would skew its facts and present information that in ways that would benefit its business. Such wide-scope congolmerate-corporations are complete enemies to truth and competition; the extended shame of it being that the GOP, the party whose members vote to retain small government and market competition continually elects leaders/lawmakers that do not do so and bend over quite easily to corporations.

    • by sa1lnr (669048)

      "Now if they just would get UK out of EU it would actually be quite an intelligent organization."

      Haha, no chance.

      Considering the level of expenses that an MEP gets, you'll never be rid of UK politicians. ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rhizome (115711)

      The funny thing is that the terrorists (that the US cares about) are only attacking the US and those who collude with the US. A refusal to cooperate with the US is likely the safer position to take. The only information about terrorists the US is going to withold is that which concerns any danger that countries incur by continuing relations with the US.

    • Catch-22 ... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by golodh (893453)
      The key issues are: reciprocity and "subsidiarity" versus trust.

      Reciprocity is easy to understand: it isn't there in the current agreements. As in: the US can look at any financial transaction in the EU it likes, the EU cannot do the same thing with financial transactions in the US. If I were on a EU committee like the one described, I'd nix any data-sharing agreement on that ground alone. Can you imagine the US allowing a foreign power to rifle through its citizen's private financial records without gett

  • by CyborgWarrior (633205) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:53PM (#31047438) Homepage

    I think we are finally beginning to see some of the endings to the technology euphoria that have developed over the past 20 years. As technology and the internet improved and people discovered all of these extra amazing ways to make different processes more efficient, it's becoming more and more obvious that certain processes simply should not be efficient. This includes government ability to collect data as well as corporate ability to do the same. When it's harder to do, it's fine because it doesn't have as strong of an effect and the mere difficult limits its use. The easier it gets the more often it will be abused or over-used because it's possible.

    Essentially, just because we can build this network, doesn't mean we should. I'm giving a big nod of the head to the EU over this one.

    • by tjstork (137384)

      I think we are finally beginning to see some of the endings to the technology euphoria that have developed over the past 20 year.

      Frankly, I think the political and other events of the last decade have vndicated technophoria completely. Our democracy, in the United States, is stronger than it has ever been in our lifetimes. This is a golden age for the people to have a voice and it should be held up in history as such.

      We are living through the best of times, and the choices we have before us, about increas

      • by russotto (537200) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:36PM (#31047740) Journal

        Frankly, I think the political and other events of the last decade have vndicated technophoria completely. Our democracy, in the United States, is stronger than it has ever been in our lifetimes. This is a golden age for the people to have a voice and it should be held up in history as such.

        Everyone has a voice, but nobody is heard. Our democracy amounts to the tiniest share of a choice between two similar groups of people who end up doing similar things. More and more laws are passed, resulting in an ever-narrowing box within which we have "freedom". Golden? I think not; gold does not tarnish.

        • We are free to vote for whomever we want. There are still other parties on the ballot. The fact that the people in this country refuse to vote for anyone that isn't part of one of the 2 major parties is ultimately their own fault.

          It also doesn't help that we really don't get any good candidates running, regardless of party. Come up with your own theories of why this might be.

      • by VitaminB52 (550802) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @06:48PM (#31048536) Journal

        Our democracy, in the United States, is stronger than it has ever been in our lifetimes.

        I'm sorry to say you're wrong. Democracy is about one (wo)man one vote, not about one lobbyist one vote, or one corporation one vote.
        The US of A recently crossed the thin line between democracy and democrazy, read the NY Times article: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/corporation-says-it-will-run-for-congress/ [nytimes.com]

    • by Teun (17872)
      Maybe we should stop automatically treating new technology as different or exempt re. (privacy, patents, IP) law.

      Just apply the rules that grew over centuries and make adjustments in the same spirit and only after a good case was made.

    • by rve (4436)

      Essentially, just because we can build this network, doesn't mean we should. I'm giving a big nod of the head to the EU over this one.

      You misunderstand. This has nothing to do with fighting terrorism or protecting privacy, but everything to do with tax evasion. As long as the US has official, legal access to European banking data, it's a lot less safe for American tax evaders to use Europe based banks to keep their unreported money.

      The US will obviously still have access to all this data via unofficial channels, for use in counter terrorism, but I doubt that illegally obtained data could be used in court to prosecute a tax evader.

  • ...only be available to European governments.

    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:12PM (#31047558)

      Well... Yes, frankly.

      We have stronger data protection and personal privacy laws in the EU than those in the US seem to have, and just as important, people here seem to be generally more aware of the need for data protection and privacy after a string of high profile screw-ups. Both governments and businesses do get slapped down from time to time for trying to go too far.

      The balance is still too far in favour of the data miners, and I think as time passes and the consequences become more apparent we will see popular opinion sway further toward protecting privacy. But even today, it's paradise here compared to the US, where even if there are legal safeguards, the executive and intelligence agencies are demonstrably willing to ignore them and then invoke special privilege crap to cover themselves after the fact.

      Bottom line: Why the hell should EU-level bureaucrats kissing US ass give away sensitive data to the US when our laws would normally prohibit such action? Answer: because the unelected guys pushed it through literally within their final hours with that authority, knowing that as soon as the Lisbon Treaty took effect and elected MEPs started to get more power they wouldn't get away with it. The MEPs are now doing their job and fixing this problem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Teun (17872)
        Sorry to bust your (probably British) bubble but there was nothing unelected about the guys that tried to sell us out.

        They were all appointed by democratically elected governments.
        So whoever has issues with the action taken should go to their own national representative.

        Or do you want to have an election for every clown in office?

        • by JAlexoi (1085785)
          And yet there are countries in the EU that in spite of people wanting more partnership like relations with US, bow down to every whim of the US of A. The biggest one is obviously Poland. Beating out UK, where there is a little bit of resistance left.
          • by h4rm0ny (722443)

            Poland thought they were going to get the favour of the USA when the missile defence systems were going to be sited there. The moment the US switches foreign policy from sabre-rattling at Russia to appeasing Russia (due in no small part to increasing tension with Iran), the USA dropped Poland like a hot potato. Well it's not all bad - when I say "Poland" I was referring to the government there as most of the people as I understand it didn't want the missile defence systems sited in their country in the fir
        • Sorry to bust your (probably British) bubble but there was nothing unelected about the guys that tried to sell us out.

          They were all appointed by democratically elected governments.

          Appointed, not elected, yes.

          Democratically elected governments? Not here in the UK, that's for sure.

          • Labour received the support of only 22% of the population at the last general election. That corresponds to only 1/3 or so of those who actually voted; about twice as many people voted against them as for them.
          • Labour lost the popular vote in England outright. The Conservatives actually won that one.
          • Labour dropped Blair and held a coronation for Brown, which is explicitly and exactly what the voters were told
          • Democratically elected governments? Not here in the UK, that's for sure.

            Just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it undemocratic.

            Labour received the support of only 22% of the population at the last general election.

            Irrelevant. You can draw no inference - up or down, red or blue, for or against - about the views of those who do not vote. While apathy is bad in and of itself, the only logical thing to do is to treat them as invalid data and ignore them.

            That corresponds to only 1/3 or so of those

        • Sorry to bust your (probably British) bubble

          Nice ad hominem there.

          but there was nothing unelected about the guys that tried to sell us out.

          They were all appointed by democratically elected governments.

          It makes no difference who does the appointing - or whether they got there by election, heredity or drawing names from a hat. Appointed != elected.

          Perhaps you should refrain from making cheap nationalistic insults and learn some logic?

          • by Teun (17872)
            Nothing Ad Hominem, it's only the Brits that keep coming up with this funny claim.
            The British system where the government is made up out of regionally elected MP's is not the only democratic system.

            As a matter of fact it stinks, just look at another comment here about the 22% of the electorate that was enough to bring Blair to power.

            In most of Europe only the MP's are directly elected and they control a government made up of appointed officials.

            • Nothing Ad Hominem, it's only the Brits that keep coming up with this funny claim.
              The British system where the government is made up out of regionally elected MP's is not the only democratic system.

              Nobody said it was. What YOU said was that the property of being elected is somehow transferable - that being appointed by an elected person is the same as being elected. That's bullshit. If I'm baptized by a priest that doesn't make me one.

              In most of Europe only the MP's are directly elected and they control

              • by jschrod (172610)

                > > In most of Europe only the MP's are directly elected and they control a government
                > > made up of appointed officials.

                > You mean the civil service? We have one of those, but there's some debate about who controls whom.

                No, he means the government, i.e., the executive: all ministers, the president, chancellor if one has them. In most European countries the executive branch is not elected, not even the president, but appointed by the parlament. Just as the EU commission members are appointed,

  • Isn't the US the one that got attack the 9/11 or I got it wrong? Is it the US then the one interested in a withhold information war? Does not sound like a smart threat unless the plans US to ban every flight coming from Europe... Those kind of threats shows politicians have little class and less brain.

    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      It's one of those things politicians will pull out as a card against other politicians so they couldn't say anything against it. "So you do not want to fight against terrorism then?" "So you aren't interested to protect our children?"

      Works good against US politicians, but at least we still have EU politicians who see it's a totally irrelevant issue and not a reason to drop all privacy laws.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Jesus_666 (702802)
        The problem is, this doesn't just work against politicians. It also works against countries. The USA claim to have informations about terrorists, which they are unwilling to share with the Eurpean Union unless we hand over the data. Let's see what kind of headlines we can come up with based on that.

        Generic newspapers:
        USA Hold Free World at Gunpoint, Demand Bank Data for Continued Safety
        USA Withholding Terrorism Data Until Demands are Met

        Big, reputable papers:
        America's Deadly Game - how Uncle Sam tr
    • by Teun (17872) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:35PM (#31047732) Homepage
      Yeah right, 9/11 is the only successful terrorist attack ever.
      In the mean time don't be a moron, Europe has just as much to gain by effective anti terrorist intelligence as the rest of the civilised world.

      But there was nothing civilised or intelligent about the SWIFT treaty as it stood, it was utterly one-sided.

      We cannot avoid having learned from the stupidities in international politics the Bush-era has bestowed on the world, there were no safeguards what-so-ever the data was going to be used for purpose.

      When the US government can make a case sharing of European banking data is going to help all sides in our joint fight against violent and criminal zealots of any description I'm sure they could win the support of Europe.

      Because the UN includes some rather nasty members I won't go so far as to suggest a UN institute should do the intelligence but an international body is the only reliable way to handle such sensitive data.

      We all remember what happened when a European delegation was in China to sign off on an important Airbus contract and a US company could out of the blue undercut the price.

      Banking information is sensitive!

  • It's about time! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by synoniem (512936)

    Not that I trust my government but at least they are my government. It's obvious that the EU does not really care about data from European citizens going to the US but our international firms do. And further it's quite simple: not one bankrecord from the US went to Europe while all bankrecords from Europe went to the US. And that has to get even now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:12PM (#31047560)

    At the moment, only a committee of the European Parliament voted against it in a test ballot. The real ballot is on Thursday next week. Up to then, the US American administration (including the US ambassador to the EU and Hillary Clinton) put pressure (including various legal and illegal threats) on the Members of the European Parliament to change their mind. They were already successful insofar that the ballot was moved from Wednesday to Thursday. And as I consider the European politicians as corrupt and ready to betray the basic rights of the European people in order to gain more control over them, I guess the Americans will be successful in getting their SWIFT treaty exactly as they want it.

    • by lordholm (649770) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:20PM (#31047624) Homepage
      I think you undervalue the fury from the parliament on the fact that the Council snuck the deal through the day before Lisbon went into effect (had it been done the day after, the EP would have had the right to add their amendments to the deal). Lots of MEPs are really really pissed at the Council for this and they really want to flex their muscles against the Council (which I think is a good thing since the EP is accountable to the citizens).
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        ...which I think is a good thing since the EP is accountable to the citizens

        Only if the citizens hold them accountable. And it's long past time to hold the citizens accountable for the politicians they elect.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by asaz989 (901134)
      I've been counting the votes: The Socialists and Democrats [left-wing] (184 votes), the Greens/Free Alliance [basically, Greens and stateless minorities] (55 votes), the ALDE [think MUCH less radical libertarians] (84 votes), and the EUL-NGL [hard-left, and Scandinavian Greens] (35 votes) have come out against the treaty. These parties have cohesion rates (according to VoteWatch [votewatch.eu]) in the mid-90 percent range, and put together are just 10 votes shy of a majority. The UKIP (a British eurosceptic party with 13
  • by lordholm (649770) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:16PM (#31047588) Homepage
    It is reasonable that individual requests for banking data in the EU can be done by the US, but as should always be the case, this should go through proper channels, which means a court decision with human beings taking decisions. Secondly, if a person is investigated and not found to be involved in anything, he should be notified and given compensation. Further, if the US should be given access to EU banking data, then the US should grant the EU authorities access to US data (hah... that will never happen...). From a procedural point of view, this was one of the few real fuckups by the Swedish presidency of the Union. The deal was approved by the Council the day before the Lisbon treaty went into effect. This meant that the Parliament could not have anything to say in the contents (which they would have had if it had been passed the day after). Now, the Parliament cannot amend it, but they can reject it which I think the Council did not think of, now they get what they deserve :) And for all those who dislike Lisbon, can you tell me what is the problem with parliamentary influence over the additional areas given in the treaty?
  • by Stumbles (602007) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:25PM (#31047658)
    So lets see if I grasp this correctly. The US is willing to hold hostage certain bits of terrorist information over banking data. Hm.
  • Not quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by Elektroschock (659467) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:25PM (#31047660)

    --- Problem ---

    • The current agreement is unacceptable for Europeans and would be interim anyway
    • The US embassador to the European Union, William Kennard blackmailed members of the European Parliament and the leaders of the groups. He has to abstain from interference into the inner affairs of the EU and violated the rules of diplomatic conduct. His black mail attempt was foolish because it is impossible for member states to enter bilateral agreements with the US and that would be an unbearable and illegal act of illoyality. His bluff: 'I am unsure whether Washington agencies would again decide to address this issue at EU level'
    • The European Commission thought they could ignore the European Parliament as the competent body. Currently a new Commission is put into office.
    • SWIFT data is toxic and European financial institutions are very sensitive about this. The use of the SWIFT data for anti-terrorism purposes is fishy.
    • Europeans get nothing in return for the transmission of their sensitive data

    --- Process ---

    Agreement between the EU and the USA on
    the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the
    European Union to the United States for purposes of the Terrorist
    Finance Tracking Program, Rapporteur: Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (A7-0013/2010)

      ---- Scenarios and options ----

    • Restore the honour of the US diplomatic corps by a dismissal of the offender Kennard
    • Interinstitutional deal and adoption (Clinton)
    • Rejection by the European Parliament plenary and renewed referral.
    • Even stronger resolution by the European Parliament than what the Committee proposed, given the latest incidents.

    A rejection is currently likely. See the debate and voting timetable at Seance en direct [europa.eu].

      ---- Documents ----

    • by pydev (1683904)

      * The US embassador to the European Union, William Kennard blackmailed members of the European Parliament

      * Europeans get nothing in return for the transmission of their sensitive data

      Seems to me you can't blackmail people who don't actually want something.

      # Restore the honour of the US diplomatic corps by a dismissal of the offender Kennard

      Do you seriously think Americans give a damn what Europeans or European diplomats think of Kennard?

  • by Peachy (21944)

    I wonder whether the Federal Reserve + CHIPS systems, through which similar transfers are cleared in the US, share pertinent data with EU governments?

    • by Teun (17872)
      Don't you worry :)

      The news about the SWIFT treaty included bits about it being completely one-way.

  • Tyrants (Score:2, Insightful)

    by paxcoder (1222556)

    "The US has threatened to withhold cooperation on terrorist intelligence if the bank data deal now in place is cancelled" - US threatening Europe. Now, someone's crazy here. And it's not Europe (see also: software patents).

  • Familiar tactics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:25PM (#31048008)

    So, the US government has terrorist intelligence in its power, demands access to European bank data and threatens to cut off the cooperation on terrorist intelligence (which may result in death of many people*) if its demands are not meat.
    This is a well-known tactics used by several smaller organizations and groups around the globe. Can't recall the name of a prominent one though... Al-Qsomething...

    * I don't believe that US' intelligence is useful (e.g. WMD), nor do I believe in terrorism fear-mongering, nor do I want to give up my rights for this -- free society has a price which I am ready to accept.

  • by anechoic (129368) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @08:39PM (#31049262)

    ...which was merely a way for the US to quickly expand its markets into a war torn Europe while busting unions to keep labor cheap and subverting at all costs to keep capitalism expanding - not only did the US make money on WWII but it made even more by 'rebuilding' Europe and installing our corporations and military everywhere it could

  • rsspect (Score:3, Interesting)

    by anonieuweling (536832) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @04:43AM (#31051100)
    Of course the USA respectfully and nicely accepts this disappointing yet semi-democratic decision.
    NOT!
    They threaten Europe with not sharing terrorism related information.
    So we expect a false flag soon?
  • So how's that working out for you?

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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