Canadian Security Magazine

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EU lawmakers urge scrapping bank data sharing agreement with US over spying allegations

European lawmakers narrowly approved a resolution seeking to scrap an agreement that grants U.S. authorities access to bank data for terrorism-related investigations.

The non-binding resolution on Wednesday followed leaks by Edward Snowden alleging the U.S. National Security Agency targeted a Belgium-based system of international bank transfers, known as SWIFT.

The resolution – adopted 280-254 with 30 abstentions – comes as a major rebuke, and shows the continuing outrage in Europe over Washington’s surveillance programs.

The measure’s opponents say cancelling the agreement would jeopardize a powerful tool in the fight against terrorism. Supporters say the alleged spying grossly violated the agreement and thereby voided it.

A majority of the 28-nation bloc’s member states could decide to scrap the so-called Terrorist Finance Tracking Program if a violation were to be proven.


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