“SWIFT” Boating the Russian Mafia

By: Monday June 27, 2011 1:01 pm

Remember that GCHQ/MI6 agent, Gareth Williams, who was found dead in a duffel bag last year? At first, the narrative around his death centered on rumors he had been killed in a weird gay sex game. Amid such sensational reporting, other articles revealed Williams worked closely with the NSA on wiretapping Rashid Rauf, one of [...]

SWIFT and the Asymmetric Control of Data

By: Monday April 4, 2011 8:27 am

I’ve been thinking a lot about SWIFT lately. Partly that’s because of the renewed discussion on how some big banks relied on cash from drug cartels to survive as the housing bubble began to pop. Partly that’s because of advance publicity for Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands and coverage of corporate tax dodging. And partly it’s [...]

US Cheating on European SWIFT Agreement Reveals Safeguards Were Oversold

By: Thursday March 17, 2011 8:59 am

As I noted last night, the US has been violating the spirit of its agreement with the EU on access to the SWIFT database–the database tracking international financial transfers. Rather than giving Europol specific, written requests for data, it has been giving it generic requests backed by oral requests the Europol staffers are not supposed [...]

US Cheats on SWIFT Agreement with Oral Requests

By: Wednesday March 16, 2011 8:02 pm

I have tracked the American negotiations with the post-Lisbon EU to get continued access to the SWIFT database, the database that tracks international money payments. Basically, after the Lisbon Treaty went into effect last year, the EU Parliament balked at giving Americans free run of the SWIFT database. The EU and US put an interim [...]

What State Wanted Withheld from WikiLeaks Publication

By: Saturday January 29, 2011 7:40 am

There are now four versions of the cooperation between WikiLeaks and its journalistic “partners:” Vanity Fair, NYT, Guardian, and Spiegel. A comparison of them is more instructive than reading any in isolation. For example, compare how the NYT and Spiegel describe the three things the State Department asked journalistic partners not to publish during the [...]

Vampire Squid Pissy about Response to Data Octopus Demands

By: Monday November 29, 2010 10:19 am

We’ve discussed US negotiations with Europe over the SWIFT database at length here. Basically, after the Lisbon Treaty went into effect last year, the EU Parliament balked at giving Americans free run of the SWIFT database. The EU and US put an interim agreement in place. Which the EU Parliament then overturned in February. The [...]

The American Data Octopus

By: Friday October 8, 2010 5:16 am

Data octopus. That’s how one European Parliament official described the US’ continued grab for unfettered access to more and more European data. (h/t WM) “The Americans want to blackmail us,” said an agitated Alexander Alvaro, home affairs spokesman of the Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the European Parliament. The Americans have become “like a [...]

Obama Administration Grants Europeans Rights Americans Don’t Have

By: Thursday July 8, 2010 8:49 am

You know what happens when your elected representatives fight for your privacy? Counterterrorism investigators actually grant you some! At issue is SWIFT–the database that tracked most international money transfers which the Bush Administration mined in its counterterrorism fight. When SWIFT’s server moved to the EU, the US tried to demand the same access as it [...]

EU Won’t Hand Over Their Data

By: Friday May 7, 2010 9:22 am

Last year and in February, we watched as the EU balked at US demands for data-sharing under the SWIFT program. The Belgian cooperative in charge of the international money transfer database moved its servers to the EU, but the US still wanted the same access it had had when the servers were in the US. [...]

EU Parliament Rejects Interim SWIFT Deal

By: Thursday February 11, 2010 6:51 am

The EU Parliament voted today–by big margins–to end the temporary deal allowing the US access to data from SWIFT. The European Parliament on Thursday broadly rejected an agreement with the United States on sharing information on bank transfers that was aimed at tracking suspected terrorists through their finances.The vote in Strasbourg, France, underlined differences between [...]

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