SWIFT II Agreement Leaves Doubts on Future of Terrorist Finance Tracking Program

Posted by John Rosenthal

In what is sure to be celebrated as a diplomatic victory for the Obama administration, the European Parliament voted today to approve a revised version of the so-called SWIFT agreement on bank data sharing. The agreement will permit the resumption of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP). Under the program, which is credited with both preventing terror attacks and facilitating their investigation, American investigators have consulted and analyzed selected data on international bank transactions originating in Europe. The new agreement, however, effectively places the program under European “oversight” and gives European officials the authority to deny data requests and “block” data searches.

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