http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010 ... -datashare
MEPs veto US access to bank data
European parliament resists Washington by ending Swift pact allowing personal financial data to be seen by security agencies
* Ian Traynor, Brussels
* guardian.co.uk, Thursday 11 February 2010 15.36 GMT
The European parliament defied intense pressure from Washington today and ditched an extensive data-sharing programme enabling the United States to track millions of European personal financial transactions to counter terrorism.
An overwhelming majority of MEPs in Strasbourg voted to bin the Swift agreement, which has been operating on a provisional basis, enabling the US to comb millions of personal banking transfers and transactions in an effort to trace terrorist financing.
"Our laws are being broken and under this agreement they would continue to be broken. Parliament should not be complicit in this," said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, a Dutch liberal MEP. "The security of European citizens is not being compromised. Targeted transatlantic data-exchange will remain possible through other legal instruments. If the US administration would propose to the US Congress something equivalent to this – to transfer in bulk bank data of American citizens to a foreign power – we all know what the US Congress would say."