NSA spy scandal may scuttle EU-US anti-terrorist agreement – EU commissioner
The European Union is threatening to suspend a data-sharing deal with the United States that is designed to track terrorist bank funding. However, there are suspicions the National Security Agency was stealing financial data from EU citizens.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU commissioner responsible for investigating the implications of the NSA and GCHQ spy scandal, said 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.
Malmstrom said she was unhappy with the information supplied by the US government, saying the Americans need to provide more data
“I am not satisfied with what we have received so far,” the commissioner told a European parliament committee debating the NSA disclosures. “Whilst from the US reactions last week we now have some understanding of the situation, we need more detailed information in order to credibly assess reality and to be in a position to judge whether the obligations of the US side under the agreement have been breached.
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is a British intelligence agency that has also come under suspicion of EU commissioners when it was revealed the organization was collecting all online and telephone data in the UK via the Tempora program, also revealed in the NSA disclosures.
“A decision to maintain the agreement or to consider proposing its suspension is a serious matter,” Malmstrom admitted.
Ever since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, a number of controversial security measures were passed under then President George W. Bush. Much of the legislation, however, was put into effect without any public debate.