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June 28, 2006

Saw This In The Herald Tribune [6:51 am]

Should be quite the interesting fight: Complaints Filed Against Group That Gave Data to U.S.

A human rights group in London said today that it had lodged formal complaints in 32 countries against the Brussels-based banking consortium known as Swift, contending that it violated European and Asian data protection rules by providing the United States with confidential information about international money transfers.

[...] “Swift appears to have violated data protection rules in Europe by making these transfers without the consent of the individuals involved, and without the approval of European judicial or administrative authorities,” Mr. Davies said. “The scale of the operation, involving millions of records, places this disclosure in the realm of a fishing exercise rather than a legally authorized investigation.”

The Bush administration has defended the program as an important part of its campaign against terrorism. But Europe and the United States are increasingly at odds over how to protect civil liberties while pursuing terrorists.

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