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MEPs demand explanation on US plan to monitor all money transfers
Date 28/09/2010 10:57  Author webmaster  Hits 985  Language Global
28 SEP 2010

By Valentina Pop

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The EU commission and MEPs have requested clarifications from Washington on reported plans to expand an anti-terrorism programme targeting financial transactions - a move that would render void the long-debated "Swift agreement" enacted in August.

"We urgently seek clarifications from the US if these plans are an infringemet of the Swift agreement and the EU commission promised to demand further information on it," Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie in't Veld told this website on Monday evening (27 September) after a closed-door meeting with commission officials.

Earlier that day, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration was looking into expanding existing anti-terrorism programs targetting bank transfers to the extent that a long-debated agreement with the EU, dubbed the "Swift agreement," would no longer be valid.

Under current rules, US officials can request European data relevant to a specific terrorist investigation from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift). The request needs to be approved by the EU's police co-operation unit, Europol, and has to meet certain requirements.

But if the new plans go into effect, the Washington Post said: "transactions between European and US banks would be captured regardless of whether there is a substantiated need."

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