EU Parliament votes to suspend data sharing deal with US

23 Oct 2013

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden

Because of the surveillance revelations made by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden, the European Parliament voted today to suspend a major data-sharing agreement with the United States.

The fallout of the Snowden revelations also led to the EU Parliament adopting a resolution to suspend the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) agreement from 2010 with 280 votes for to 254 against.

The agreement originally allowed the US Treasury to access data stored in Europe by international bank transfer player Swift.

However, the Snowden revelations include allegations that the NSA spied on this data without going through the agreed legal channels.

The decision to end the agreement comes just one day ahead of the EU-US Summit in Brussels.

“The EU cannot continue to remain silent in the face of these ongoing revelations: it gives the impression we are little more than a lap dog of the US,” MEP Jan Philip Albrecht said this week.

“If we are to have a healthy relationship with the US, based on mutual respect and benefit, EU governments must not be afraid of defending core EU values when they are infringed. EU leaders must finally take a clear and unambiguous stance on the NSA violations at this week’s summit.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years