EU votes to suspend Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP)


European politicians have voted for a suspension of an ongoing Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP), in light of recent revelations that the NSA has been spying on EU politicians, businesses, and individual citizens.

The EU should suspend its Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) agreement with the US in response to the US National Security Agency’s alleged tapping of EU citizens’ bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT, says a non-binding resolution voted by Parliament on Wednesday.

…Although Parliament has no formal powers to initiate the suspension or termination of an international deal, “the Commission will have to act if Parliament withdraws its support for a particular agreement”, says the approved text. It adds that Parliament will take account of the Commission’s response to this demand when considering whether to give its consent to future international agreements.

…MEPs deplore the fact that no EU member state has investigated these allegations. and urge EU countries to authorise an inquiry by Europol’s Cybercrime Centre. The resolution also calls for a “full on-site technical investigation” of allegations of the US authorities having had unauthorised access to, or having created possible “back doors” into, the SWIFT servers.

This will likely come as a blow to Washington at a time of domestic crisis for the US, as lawmakers continue to debate on the debt ceiling and Obamacare.

This vote does not come lightly for MEPs:

Birgit Sippel: “They abused the spirit of the agreement. If it is discovered that access to servers, or cables or whatever else included more banking information, then that would be a clear breach of the agreement. The indiscriminate surveillance, including of citizens’ information, of European institutions and many other things, raises serious doubts about whether data was collected only to fight terrorism and its financing. You have to assume that data was also used for other purposes.”

Further Reading

MEPs call for suspension of EU-US Bank data deal