EU data-sharing deal with US on tracking terrorists’ funding in jeopardy

BRUSSELS: A data-sharing deal related to tracking terrorist bank funding between the United States and European Union (EU) is in jeopardy over the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs.

According to three EU lawmakers, the reports alleging that the NSA was also tapping into the Brussels-based system Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) databases to gain access to the private data of Europeans on their financial dealings, mean the agreement has been effectively voided.

The Terror Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) of 2010, which supplies bank and credit card transaction information to the US treasury in an effort to trace funding to terrorist groups, may be in jeopardy if it is determined the Americans were abusing the agreement, the EU commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said.

Malmstrom, who is responsible for investigating the implications of the NSA and GCHQ spy scandal, told a European parliament committee debating the NSA disclosures that she has not received sufficient answers from her US counterparts regarding the spying allegations.

The EU commissioner said if the agreement was violated, a majority of EU states could decide to cancel it in retaliation.