EU lawmakers angered by NSA spying

New revelations that the US is spying on international bank transfers have angered European lawmakers, prompting them to call for the suspension of the SWIFT deal on banking transactions between the EU and the US.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported on September 16 that the US National Security Agency (NSA) widely monitors international payments and financial transactions.

The report was based on documents obtained from famous American whistleblower, Edward Snowden.

œThe Americans are apparently breaking into the system. We are being played for fools and spied on without limits,” said liberal European parliamentarian, Sophie in ‘t Veld.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz told Der Spiegel, œEuropean data protection regulations have to be the clear standard in dealings with the Americans.”

Schulz added that the US government must live up to its obligations regarding openness with Europe.

According to Der Spiegel, the leaked documents showed that the spying by NSA is conducted by a branch called “Follow the Money.”

The collected information then flows into the NSA’s own financial databank, called “Tracfin,” which in 2011 contained 180 million records, including data from the SWIFT network.

SWIFT is a network used by thousands of banks to send transaction information securely.

Furthermore, the leaked documents showed that the NSA also targets the transactions of customers of large credit card companies like VISA for surveillance.

The privacy violations were first revealed by Snowden in June. He leaked confidential information that showed the NSA collects data of phone records and Internet communication in the US and Europe as well as other countries.

CAH/KA/SS

Copyright: Press TV