Some members of the European Parliament want the union’s data sharing agreement with the United States suspended over reports that the U.S. National Security Agency illegally tapped banking data in Europe.
There have been allegations that the NSA illegally accessed data stored in Europe by International Wire Transfer (SWIFT). SWIFT is a co-operative society founded by seven international banks which operate a global network to facilitate the transfer of financial messages.
Under the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP), the U.S. Treasury can access data stored in Europe by SWIFT. There were however, reports based on documents leaked by exiled former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that NSA accessed the data without going through legal channels.
Sophie in’t Veld, Dutch member of European Parliament said there are no evidence that NSA actually breached SWIFT but the NSA doesn’t deny it either. She said it is “irrelevant whether they have used the opportunity so far, because they will continue to reserve that right in the future.”
MEPs Claude Moraes and Alexander Alvaro also called for a suspension of agreements as a minimum option.
Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said she has written U.S. Treasury Under-Secretary David Cohen to find out the “how, what and when” of the alleged breach.