Euros say surveillance of terrorist financing illegal

NY Times:

The Belgian banking consortium Swift breached European privacy rules when it aided a United States antiterrorism program by providing confidential information about money transfers, Belgium’s privacy protection commission concluded Thursday.

“It has to be seen as a gross miscalculation by Swift that it has, for years, secretly and systematically transferred massive amounts of personal data for surveillance without effective and clear legal basis and independent controls in line with Belgian and European law,” the report said.

Swift, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, has come under scrutiny for participating in a Bush administration program that allows analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency and officials from other United States agencies to search for possible terrorist financing activity among the millions of confidential financial transactions it oversees.

The Bush administration has defended the once-secret program, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. But critics in Europe argue that it has placed American security interests ahead of European civil liberties.

The Euros and the NY Times put terrorist rights ahead of US and European security in stopping the financing of terrorist operations. This is another to gift to the terrorist who want to chop off the heads of the journalist and the Eurocrats who are making it tougher for us to stop them. The disclosure of this program not only aids the terrorist, it makes it more difficult to get cooperation in fighting them. That seems to be of no consequence to the Times, but it should be to every American.


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