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EU May Allow US To Keep Snooping On European Bank Data

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the security-one-privacy-zero dept.

Privacy 206

zaphod2 alerts us to a storm brewing in Europe over access by US intelligence agencies to EU banking data. There is considerable opposition in Europe to extending this access. The submitter adds, "I wonder how long it takes until gambling, online games, or non-RIAA-approved music shops are considered supporters of terrorism." "US anti-terror officials want to be able to continue examining Europeans' financial transactions, and it appears likely that the European Union is going to comply. ... The US has been examining transactions handled by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions (SWIFT) since the 9/11 attacks... However, SWIFT, which is located in Belgium, is planning to move its servers and database — which is currently located in the US — to Europe. With data privacy laws far stricter in Europe, the US would then need permission from the EU before it could gain access to this sensitive information."

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Its OK though (5, Funny)

Gravedigger3 (888675) | about 5 years ago | (#28849161)

because it is absolutely necessary in order to fight the terrorists!! If we don't police the world then WHO WILL!?

Re:Its OK though (3, Funny)

delt0r (999393) | about 5 years ago | (#28849235)

We are Team America, &*%$ yeah!

U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849411)

"We are Team America..."

There is no "we". The violence of the U.S. government has not benefited U.S. citizens. If you got in the way of the controlling groups, they would kill you, delt0r, and your family.

"US anti-terror officials"

The "anti-terror" is only a smokescreen. The U.S. government spends more money on surveillance and war than any country in the history of the world. That taxpayer money partly helps some people profit, for example: House of Bush, House of Saud [amazon.com] , and hurts U.S. taxpayers.

The U.S. government has invaded or bombed 25 countries since the 2nd world war [evergreen.edu] . Most or all of the interference was for profit. Quote: '... although nearly all the post-World War II interventions were carried out in the name of "freedom" and "democracy," nearly all of them in fact defended dictatorships controlled by pro-U.S. elites' The dictators pay the corrupters, of course.

U.S. citizens don't want to believe that their government is as corrupt as it is, even though the recent financial corruption has made many of them poor.

Re:U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (3, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 5 years ago | (#28849793)

Whatever the US did earlier, which is interesting in itself, something does not compute right now.
When 9/11 attacks happened, the US let terrorists profit from the future they had subscribed in abnormal quantity. Then US come to EU monitoring our activity? Medice, cura te ipsum.
We are monitoring ordinary citizens and let corporations make business in fiscal paradises. This is a joke.

Re:U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 5 years ago | (#28849801)

i meant "futures" :)

Re:U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#28849817)

That taxpayer money partly helps some people profit

What do you mean by taxpayer money [brillig.com] ?

Re:U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#28849919)

Someday U.S. taxpayers will have to pay-off that enormous debt, which is now the equivalent of $105,000 hanging over every home.

It would be nice if our politicians would grow-up, stop acting like teenagers with credit cards, and reduce spending. But no, instead they want to saddle us with a giant Uncle Sam healthcare program that we can not afford. By the end of Obama's term, that debt will have risen to ~$150,000 per home.

Pretty soon the entire U.S. will be like bankrupt California.

Re:U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (-1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28850227)

Stop blowing your money on toys that go boom and you can afford a lot. For reference, see ... pretty much any land on mainland Europe.

Re:U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850325)

There's some people who seem to be want to continue to have the fucked up medical system that exists in the US presently. I have no idea why. You try and come out with sound economical ideas why nationalised health care is not good, but usually fail by ignoring many of the unquantifiable bits and pieces. Like that many Americans are tied to a job due to the risk of losing insurance if they lose their job. How much less are the employer able to get away with paying because of this, for example?

Here in the UK we have suffered years and years of privatisation, and you know what? Nothing has become cheaper as a result, and in certain places the services are simply poorer. Privatised public transport means that running a car is barely much more than travelling by bus/train everywhere! And now if you are travelling to other than the middle of a major town you might get just 1 or 2 buses a day to somewhere more rural.

You think that for-profit industry will run health care as cheap as possible? Of course not. They will run it as expensively as possible - about 1 cent cheaper than nationalised health care, and that's if the American public were totally indifferent about whether the health care is private or not. For some reason, large swathes of the US public seem to want privatised health care, when in reality only a very few benefit from the existence of private health care - and they benefit not because of treatment available.

Now is the point where your pour out the tired old rhetoric about the government interfering in your life. This is valid, to a point. Maybe you should try and come up with a different way of having non-profit health care instead, because your current system does very very few people any favours.

Re:U.S. government invades and bombs for profit. (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | about 5 years ago | (#28850145)

Last month, US loaned Serbia $4 billion, if memory serves right. I guess that makes it one day's worth?

Re:Its OK though (5, Insightful)

Hammer (14284) | about 5 years ago | (#28849269)

And who decides what is terrorist acts?
I for one would not want US government to access my financial activity. Not because I am a terrorist but simply because I do not want a foreign government to breach my privacy. A court order that allows MY government agencies to snoop is OK though.
And as the post says. how long before US considers perfectly legal and reasonable acts to be terrorist acts?? Or for that matter simple petty crime to be terrorist acts.
Furthermore... I am not so sure I want America to police the world unrestrained. Considering that it could easily be argued that US is not democratic (remember that GWB was appointed by a court that ordered the counting of votes stopped). Considering that it is a country that kills it's citizens. Considering that it holds prisoners without due court proceedings.

Re:Its OK though (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849349)

Well, America is all about freedom, anyway; Freedom to spy foreign citizens & businesses; freedom to bear arms; freedom of markets; freedom to initiate preemptive wars; freedom to sue and be sued over petty annoyances; freedom to lobby... Lots of freedom.

Re:Its OK though (4, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28849547)

Alas, let's not neglect freedom to torture [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Its OK though (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#28850023)

Actually America, as conceived, is not about freedom. It's about the individual and protection of his rights from overarching, overbearing politicians sick with power. That's why these individual rights (ownership of self, right to self-protection, right to privacy, et cetera) are encoded into the U.S. and 50 State Constitutions - to block the government and keep it under control, so the individual can live a life without being hassled at every turn.

Unfortunately in their rush to control everything like petit-dictators, the Congresscritters have decided to ignore the Supreme Laws. The phrase "shall be secure in their persons and papers" means nothing if Congress can look at your bnk account whenever they feel like it. "The two worst diseases are avarice and ambition - love of money and love of power. Leaders suffer from both." - Benjamin Franklin

Re:Its OK though (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28850245)

If the Founding Fathers could see what became of their country, they'd probably sigh and grab their guns with a "ok, boys, time to start over".

Re:Its OK though (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#28849967)

>>>how long before US considers perfectly legal and reasonable acts to be terrorist acts??

If we deposit $10,000 or more in an account, the government makes a note of it and investigates. One local fellow was depositing $9900, $9500, $9600 in cash in order to avoid that requirement, but a suspicious Nazi... er, teller reported him anyway because he was "close enough". Then the stormtroopers... er, FBI arrested him for trying to avoid the $10,000 legel requirement.

This is the kind of society that the scared American people have created. "Any who would give up Essential liberty for temporary security deserves neither." - Benjamin Franklin. All these problems would disappear if we simply enforced the Constitution as written. No warrant; no search of people or their effects (papers/bank accounts).

Re:Its OK though (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | about 5 years ago | (#28850365)

All these problems would disappear if we simply enforced the Constitution as written. No warrant; no search of people or their effects (papers/bank accounts).

And the possibility that most bank employees and managers would be arrested. Which would be mighty fine, too.

Re:Its OK though (1)

b4upoo (166390) | about 5 years ago | (#28850263)

As much as I hate it there is a certain reality to economic crimes being terroristic in nature. One way to attack a nation is to destroy its economy and activities that cause economic harm to others do just that. For example drug money can wreck havoc with local housing markets when people who have large sums of money drive the cost of housing beyond the reach of more honest citizens.
        We also have a problem with a type of citizen in rebellion that is exemplified by ghetto criminals. For example a black person, in rage, over historic racial issues may well feel justified in his crimes. By close study of the economies of these individuals we can spot those who get by in life by crimes.
        The long and short of it all is that if it is easy to deeply study a person's finances it is easy to arrest them and stop their life of crime. A reverse audit, where a person is required to show how they paid their life expenses, is a quick and easy way to nail down a criminal.

Re:Its OK though (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850443)

You might be the most ignorant person alive. GWB won the election in Florida every recount that was completed GWB won. As for killing their own citizens I suppose you think that a serial rapist should be alowed to live and an innocent unborn baby be murdered because the mother is not done whoreing around. The US does not hold prisioners without court procedings many prisioners have been released, in fact the US is the only country that has given POW's due process, every other country keeps the POW's in prision until the conflict is over, so for your raghead buddies who vow to fight the US forever they can be detained forever.

Open it all up. (1)

El Jynx (548908) | about 5 years ago | (#28849337)

Having a central government of any kind monitoring this type of thing just won't work. The best we could probably do is set up an automated system which yells BEEP! when it sees a truly suspicious transaction; then amici curiae appointed by the PEOPLE in combination with a random system to prevent infiltrators - NOT the government - are allowed access and can check the records, and indicate action may be necessary. Then, every action these people must be logged and open to public scrutiny. The servers must be monitored by an independent monitoring system, once again open to public scrutiny. That's the only way anybody will have any faith in such a system whatsoever.

But on the other hand: what are they looking for? $1m dollars transferred from Hussein in Iran to Mustapha in the U.S.? Couldn't you completely automate the whole system? Google did for its advertising, and that's the only thing that's keeping a really large group of inspectors at bay.

Re:Its OK though (4, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 5 years ago | (#28849617)

It's funny that they have so much vigilance, but they can't stop billions of euros illegally leaving the US and European economies towards fiscal havens where they pay no taxes and there's no accountability whatsoever. Want to fight terrorism? End the fiscal havens.

Fiscal havens played a very important part in creating the current economical crisis. Yet, the chicken shit governments of G8 and the world financial institutions haven't done shit to end this, besides a few cosmetic tricks.

This is like people in a small town protesting against the local brothel, but they all go there on Saturday night.

If I don't pay my taxes, the IRS will make my life miserable, they will come to my house and take my furniture, my car, etc. But Joe the CEO can transfer his savings to the Conga Bonga Islands through book manipulation and happily wait for retirement without paying a dime in taxes. And his money can be invested in drugs or weapons, there's no way to trace it.

Re:Its OK though (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849995)

Yes, it's all down to tax havens. All the biggest problems in the current crisis are down to those damnable tax havens and hedge funds etc. Like the following, all HQ'ed and "regulated" in well known tax havens:

AIG: New York
Lehman Brothers: New York
Bear Sterns: New York
Merill Lynch: New York
Citibank: New York
RBS: London
Fortis: Belgium
Lloyds/HBOS: Edinburgh
Glitnir Kaupthing & Landsbanki: Iceland

Yes, if only those damn tax havens listed above were banned from doing business, the financial crisis would not have happened. If only banks were forced to be in "well regulated" onshore locations where there is accountability, there would be no recession. And as we all know, bankers, lawyers and their associates in major cities are all highly ethical people, whereas Swiss bankers or lawyers in the Cayman Islands are just fine with you calling them up and asking them to transfer funds to your friend "Omar" in Tashkent with no explanation or supporting documents.

Re:Its OK though (2, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 5 years ago | (#28850127)

Yes, it's all down to tax havens. All the biggest problems in the current crisis are down to those damnable tax havens and hedge funds etc. Like the following, all HQ'ed and "regulated" in well known tax havens:

Institutions in developed countries were directly responsible for the crisis but Tax havens payed a very important role in hiding transactions. [ft.com]

Yes, if only those damn tax havens listed above were banned from doing business, the financial crisis would not have happened. If only banks were forced to be in "well regulated" onshore locations where there is accountability, there would be no recession

Now, that's just silly. When did exactly I said such?

And as we all know, bankers, lawyers and their associates in major cities are all highly ethical people

They're all greedy heartless bloodsucking motherfuckers but there is still some supervision and vigilance in regulated markets that prevents them to directly finance criminal activities. Of course, with the massive deregulation that took place in the latest years, accountability and responsibility are not in great shape.

Swiss bankers or lawyers in the Cayman Islands are just fine with you calling them up and asking them to transfer funds to your friend "Omar" in Tashkent with no explanation or supporting documents

Yes, they are. That's their job. That's what the fiscal havens are for. And not only Omar, you can also transfer a few millions to your friend Pablo in Colombia, or to your friend Alphonse in Congo.

Don't be naive. The underground economy worldwide moves billions every year. Where do you think the money financing drug, weapons, etc. comes from? Do the criminals/warlords/terrorists pull it from their asses? No, it comes from the legal economy, through fiscal havens.

Re:Its OK though (1)

polar red (215081) | about 5 years ago | (#28850247)

Don't be naive. The underground economy worldwide moves billions every year. Where do you think the money financing drug, weapons, etc. comes from?

US citizens shouldn't be affraid of their own government, normally that government should protect its citizens from big business and maffia. unfortunatly, through centuries of scaremongering, and bickering about protection from its government, US government is fallen into the hands of said big business and maffia.

Re:Its OK though (2, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 5 years ago | (#28850119)

Fiscal havens played a very important part in creating the current economical crisis.

Could you explain why do you think that?

Re:Its OK though (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 5 years ago | (#28850181)

You could google it, but here it goes [ft.com] .

Re:Its OK though (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 5 years ago | (#28850307)

Ok, I see it now. The article seems to imply (between much irrelevant filler...) that some of those highly speculative hedge funds also operate in tax havens. Therefore tax havens must be responsible for the crisis.

But did you think about the baker's involvement in the crisis? Indeed, most hedge fund managers eat bread. So let's jail all the bakers!

Re:Its OK though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850135)

Well .. restricting your own citizens ability to take part in the global economy might seem like a logical step to you but you will find that some people might object to being regarded as slaves by some government.
AFAIK - only the US and Iran tax their citizens after they have emigrated.

The current financial mess originated in the US/EU - not in any offshore jurisdictions.
Now you'd like other countries to bail you out (lend you money) but you don't seem to understand that you must *attract* capital by making investing in your region attractive. Treating offshore investors as crap will not enable you to cover your fiscal shortfall - a shortfall that is a consequence of your own failed financial policies.

Fiscal havens are typically better regulated than US / EU based onshore banks.

Pop Quiz: Where can you get completely anonymous banking ?
A - Switzerland
B - Luxembourg
C - The US

.. the answer is: C (Delaware)

It's quite amusing to watch Obamas moves to prohibit US based corporations to locate businesses in other jurisdictions. The consequence will be that US based companies will have to pay tax twice (once to the US and once to the jurisdiction where the investment is made). In other words, a US based company investing in another country will have to pay much more tax than their international competition on the same project.

As I constitute competition to the US - I'm thrilled by this prospect and will thoroughly enjoy watching the US attempt to tax itself to greatness.

Re:Its OK though (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | about 5 years ago | (#28850387)

Fiscal havens played a very important part in creating the current economical crisis. Yet, the chicken shit governments of G8 and the world financial institutions haven't done shit to end this, besides a few cosmetic tricks.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it...

Re:Its OK though (2, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 5 years ago | (#28849979)

The agenda is to track everyone, politicians are colluding to make the world a worse place to live.

Why did the EU roll over for the US over flight passenger information, and require no such data to flow back to Europe of US citizens so THEY know how it feels to be treated like a criminal on entry to a country? Why are the EU so hell bent on everyone in Europe having ID cards, there are countries like the UK that have no ID cards, but attempts to roll them out to everyone. Why are the EU so desperate to track drivers around Europe under pretext of road tolls / pricing? Why do the Americans have any access at all to the banking of individuals? Why does the UK have an extradition treaty with the US that allows the US to grab anyone it wants "legally" without any evidence, but the UK can't extradite from the US terrorists it has? The US is not liked as it once was because they treat tourists etc. like criminals, and is why many now refuse to visit so the US looses tourist money. The US has the international reputation now of being a loose cannon, what they say goes and screw your objections.

Re:Its OK though (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28850347)

Quite true. Until not so long ago, even after the year 2001, I spent about a month per year in the US. You know, visiting people, traveling around, meeting important folks I haven't seen, BlackHat LV being a corner point most of the time. I haven't been for about four years now. Instead I follow the VB con around, as long as it avoids the US.

Reason? I don't want my laptop being searched, a collection of 0day trojans being found and, besides being questioned why those exist on there, possibly being held liable because some dufus security moron executed one of them on the airport network.

Re:Its OK though (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28850199)

The submitter adds, "I wonder how long it takes until gambling, online games, or non-RIAA-approved music shops are considered supporters of terrorism."

I thought they already were? I especially don't understand the feds' stance on gambling; gambling is legal in many states. Here in Illinois we have horse racing, riverboat casinos, and other legal gambling (including the State lottery).

What business is it of the feds?

What? You believed all that shit about change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850295)

They're all melding into one giant metagovernment, anyway. If you still have any illusions about European sovereignty or American sovereignty, then you're a fool. We already have troops deployed in Europe, and I suspect it won't be too much longer before we Americans see foreign troops deployed inside our own country.

Are we civilized here? (2, Insightful)

Tei (520358) | about 5 years ago | (#28849165)

There are rules on civilization, and one is privacy. Maybe it will be a good idea to let then see one bank account, If a judge able it, but not at random... that would be outlawdish!

Re:Are we civilized here? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 years ago | (#28849283)

  • Privacy is unfair
  • Private property is theft
  • Free speech is hate crime
  • The economy is George W. Bush's fault

Re:Are we civilized here? (2, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | about 5 years ago | (#28849615)

The economy is George W. Bush's fault

You had me going till this.
Tell me, do you work for Fox News?

Terrorism has fully achieved its objective (5, Insightful)

ami.one (897193) | about 5 years ago | (#28849179)

I think terrorism has fully achieved its objective. Majority of citizens in almost every country now face innumerable problems due to the 'anti terrorist' agenda of their governments. How worse can it be ? Success beyond Osama's wildest dreams !

Re:Terrorism has fully achieved its objective (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849195)

Wait a second... it's OSama, the terrorist in chief, now ? I thought it was OBama... I'm confused...

Re:Terrorism has fully achieved its objective (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849271)

We can tell fuckwad

Most insightful comment I have ever read on /. (0, Offtopic)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 5 years ago | (#28849441)

I'm fairly new here... but I'm being serious.

Could we please stop spreading this myth? (4, Insightful)

SoVeryTired (967875) | about 5 years ago | (#28849717)

You know, the whole point behind those attacks was not to destroy the West, or wipe us off the map, or any of that rubbish.

The main demands the Al Quaida originally made were that US forces withdraw from Saudi Arabia, and for Palestine to be recognised and given equal support to Israel. That was before every fundamentalist nutjob in Islam was invoking the name Al Quaida though ( PDF here [fas.org] , for reference).

I'm sorry to say, no matter what the media would have you believe, these guys aren't SPECTRE. They just want to be left alone. Throw rocks at a wasps' nest, and what do you expect to happen?

Re:Could we please stop spreading this myth? (1)

tyroneking (258793) | about 5 years ago | (#28849991)

You make it sound like they were all reasonable before and now the US stuck its nose in the whole thing's gone tits up.
What they say they want - the end of foreign influence in Muslim countries and an Islamic caliphate - might have been achievable, eventually, through the political / religious process - tough going, but like for all us suckers eventually doable if enough people liked the idea; but they don't - maybe because their requirement would lead to total isolation of Islamic countries and effectively would require all non Islamic countries to either kick out all Muslims or let them establish the caliphate there too. Bum steer for all the normal people who just want to live their life in safety and happiness. Guess no one would really support them, so they chose to kill innocent civilians and young men and women instead because that makes them look like soldiers and heroes instead of the cowardly morons they actually are.
So if you define SPECTRE as a bunch of miserable low lifes who like to kill - then that's what they are.
Did the West throw the first stone at the wasp's nest? Yeah, probably; The Great game, oil pipelines to Turkey, mass killings in far away places, etc.; but now it's a new age and no one really wants to go on fighting. Your handle is SoVeryTired, Al-Q probably realise by now that we are all so very tired of them too ... and whilst their roadside bombings will probably go on for a good while yet, that one fact has lost them the game for quite a while.

Re:Could we please stop spreading this myth? (2, Insightful)

SoVeryTired (967875) | about 5 years ago | (#28850133)

My intention was not to make them sound reasonable, I'm sorry if it came across that way. I was just trying to point out that in this situation, as in so many other things, there's no clearly defined good or evil. They're not trying to reign down destruction on our heads because of our decadent Western ways. But that's the sense you pick up from so many news reports and editorials.

The GP had an element of that and I guess that's what I was objecting to.

Re:Could we please stop spreading this myth? (1)

paulgrant (592593) | about 5 years ago | (#28850187)

>You make it sound like they were all reasonable before and now the US stuck its nose in the whole thing's gone tits up.
What they say they want - the end of foreign influence in Muslim countries and an Islamic caliphate - might have been achievable, eventually, through the political / religious process - tough going, but like for all us suckers eventually doable if enough people liked the idea; but they don't
--
they do - Nigeria, northern region wants sharia courts,
Afghanistan, sharia courts,
Safest Province in Phillipines, is a muslim-run one.

>maybe because their requirement would lead to total isolation of Islamic countries and effectively would require all non Islamic countries to either kick out all Muslims or let them establish the caliphate there too.

--
let them establish - lol - we've had 2 already and there will be more - your permission is not necessary. And what really pops the powers that be is the no usury prohibition - how else would they inflate the currency, rob the masses and run their wars? HMMMM. and considering how things are going in the west, a little isolation from your neighbors house that is on fire is a *good* thing. The west is the one lobbing flaming wreckage all over the rest of the world.

> Bum steer for all the normal people who just want to live their life in safety and happiness.

Violent crime is neglible in muslim countries, same goes for theft - protection of life and property, hmmmm. So you can't screw outside of marriage, maybe thats because its a *good* thing - did I mention that STDs are also non-existent by comparison to Western standards..

> Guess no one would really support them, so they chose to kill innocent civilians and young men and women instead because that makes them look like soldiers and heroes instead of the cowardly morons they actually are. So if you define SPECTRE as a bunch of miserable low lifes who like to kill - then that's what they are.

As opposed to carpet bombing civilians and mining somebody elses country?
What a hypocrite you are. Learn some history, at least - learn some of your countries history.
Hell I'ld settle for current events.

*Peace is always better then war, regardless of the reason* - give'm what they want, stop meddling in their affairs.
It's a small mind that thinks that control over others is necessary to survival.

wrong (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#28850367)

you frame it as if al qaeda is a defensive organization, that somebody, the west, went in and stirred up trouble, implying that al qaeda is the fault of the west

al qaeda is an ethnocentric fundamentalist initiative, created by the middle east. you cannot possible hold the west responsible for chinese ultranationalism or russian ultranationalism. so why you would hold it responsible for arabic ethnocetrism?

this logic is broken: "the west did {xyz} bad thing in the middle east. therefore, every single bad person from the middle east is the respnsibility of the west"

here's a similarity: "al qaeda bombed the world trade center. therefore, george bush and dick cheney are the fault of al qaeda" this is of course bullshit. but its the same reasoning you use to attribute accountability and responsibility for the existence of al qaeda. al qaeda is a creation of the cultures of the middle east. period

We protect the rights of our citizens... (5, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | about 5 years ago | (#28849197)

... but those other people? We'll spy on them like crazy to protect your rights. Terrorists and all that, you know? Oh, we may or may not be letting them spy on you. And don't ask if we'll be swapping notes with them behind closed doors. Only terrorist lovers ask questions like that.

Re:We protect the rights of our citizens... (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 5 years ago | (#28849319)

We protect the rights of our citizens...

No we don't.

FISA - Wiretapping. No longer was probable cause criminal wrongdoing suspicion, had to show special court that person was maybe foreign agent. Originally made so that evidence collected was not used in criminal prosecutions.
Right to Financial Privacy Act (1978) - Transfers the ownership of financial records from person to the bank.
National Security Letter (1978) - Self-written search warrant (no judge). Allows government to go to financial institutions, ie bank to get the records the bank now "owns". Also put a gag order on bank from telling you (although that was overturned in Doe vs Ashcroft in 2008). May have been circumvented by now (shrugs). Carter ordered it may not be used in criminal prosecution.
US Patriot Act - Changes definition of Financial Institution to include Post Office, your lawyer, your doctor, etc. Anybody served a national security letter put under gag order.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Financial_Privacy_Act [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Letter [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act [wikipedia.org]

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2659761702659115038&ei=tMZuSp_4CJXnlQffprFu&q=napolitano&hl=en [google.com]

Re:We protect the rights of our citizens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849781)

Actually, we DO protect the rights of our citizens. In every case you've cited, the initial default was ALWAYS to give privacy and the benefit of the doubt. But instead of appreciating these protections and protecting them ourselves, we the citizenry see opportunity to cheat. And we take it and abuse it so routinely that the abuse becomes institutionalized until government must act to put the wrong right again. We see this over and over in history. We see this same issue on the internet now: We SAY we are all about anonymity and privacy but what do we do with that privacy?

We RANSACK every digital product available for sale to us, using technology to make infinite illegal copies and drive the value of the work to near zero, destroying industry and the tax base and crippling the creators of that digital product. People get the privacy, the freedom and the rights we deserve. Human nature is the clearest indicator of how little we historically deserve it.

Re:We protect the rights of our citizens... (2, Interesting)

PastaLover (704500) | about 5 years ago | (#28849533)

Ehm, doesn't SWIFT process international transactions by americans as well?

Re:We protect the rights of our citizens... (1)

rve (4436) | about 5 years ago | (#28849603)

The US already has access to all banking data in the EU by means of electronic espionage. It might be for the EU to formalize the transfer of private information to the US, so that they will at least be informed when the US makes use of it, rather than having them simply take the information without asking.

As long as someone does it. (-1)

skreeech (221390) | about 5 years ago | (#28849205)

If the EU wants to keep the US out of their bank accounts that is fair, but someone should be watching, acting, and sharing if it is a useful tool for monitoring and prevention of terrorist actions.

Re:As long as someone does it. (5, Insightful)

pacinpm (631330) | about 5 years ago | (#28849243)

There is already a police in EU countries, you know. Unfortunately direct access to EU financial data can be used for industry espionage by US companies. And it is far more likely than next terrorists attacks in US.

Re:As long as someone does it. (1)

skreeech (221390) | about 5 years ago | (#28849277)

"Industry espionage"
It is not Microsoft or Coca Cola who have access to the information right now.

If the EU is trying to track something down that goes through US accounts they should not be at a dead end either.

Re:As long as someone does it. (1)

tolan-b (230077) | about 5 years ago | (#28849341)

Well it's not unknown for governments to share a little financial data acquired through intelligence means with industry. I *think* the US has done it before, I'm really not sure though, just a vague memory.

Of course this is a one way deal, the US gov isn't offering a reciprocal arrangement.

Re:As long as someone does it. (5, Interesting)

sproot (1029676) | about 5 years ago | (#28849395)

You'd be thinking of this [wikipedia.org]

Re:As long as someone does it. (1)

skreeech (221390) | about 5 years ago | (#28849477)

The Airbus example is an interesting one in the "two wrongs make a right" field.

Re:As long as someone does it. (1)

Skuto (171945) | about 5 years ago | (#28849657)

>It is not Microsoft or Coca Cola who have access to the information right now.

Yes, because government officials can't be bribed. Especially not by corporations that have lots of money.

Re:As long as someone does it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849255)

There are no terrorist actions.

Besides your government's that is.

The EU is a totalitarian government (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849249)

The sad thing is, things that invade our privacy and violate our basic rights are passed in a non-democratic way. The part of the EU government that is actually elected by the people, has absolutely no say in these matters. They are outraged but powerless.

The EU is a "great" tool for oppression and more powerful governments. Basically everything that no national government would be able to put into a law, can be done in the EU. There is no such a thing as this annoying democratic process.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (2, Interesting)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 5 years ago | (#28849419)

The part of the EU government that is actually elected by the people, has absolutely no say in these matters.

Yes, and isn't it ironic that the European Constitution, rejected by so many of the Europeans, was about to change that? (Linky [bbc.co.uk] )

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (4, Insightful)

silanea (1241518) | about 5 years ago | (#28849623)

The European Constitution is as anti-democratic as can be, both in the way it was drafted and unsuccessfully attempted to be imposed on its supposed subjects, and in its most central terms. So no, it is not ironic.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (2, Interesting)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | about 5 years ago | (#28849855)

The parent post is quite correct, not a troll. If you don't believe it, read the constitution (sorry, I mean "Lisbon Treaty"). I have, perhaps one of the very few here who have done so, and it's disgusting.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849731)

Yes, and isn't it ironic that the European Constitution, rejected by so many of the Europeans, was about to change that? (Linky [bbc.co.uk] )

No, it wasn't. At least not according to the German Constitutional Court [bundesverf...gericht.de] (text in English).

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849937)

The new "European Constitution" would have given more power to the EU parliament (whose members is publicly elected, but in a fashion that taunts the "One Person, One Vote" principle(*)) and that would have been a (relatively) good thing. But it would also have solidified a lot of outright evil things and introduced some new badness. It would have made any further progress towards democracy within the EU system pretty much impossible.

(*) Also, ironic but perhaps not surpricing, the populace of the states financing the EU budget has lower voting powers then states who is net-recievers of EU subsidies.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (2, Insightful)

lordholm (649770) | about 5 years ago | (#28849423)

You are partly right. But as soon as anyone tries to give the EP more power at the cost of the Council, the same people who scream about the "democratic deficit" start screaming about federalism (technically, I suppose this is correct, as a stronger EP will be at the cost of the member states, and thus federalism).

I do sincerely now hope that the Lisbon treaty will be ratified by the Irish, since it will give more say to the EP, maybe the EP will be able to stop this if the ratification is done.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849497)

The EU is perhaps not ideal democratic system, but AFAIK they do not ask to US gov openning banking accounts of their occupants !

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (1)

rve (4436) | about 5 years ago | (#28849631)

The EU is perhaps not ideal democratic system, but AFAIK they do not ask to US gov openning banking accounts of their occupants !

You might as well ask the US to choose Lithuanian as its official language, or ask the Nile to stop flowing.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (4, Insightful)

tronicum (617382) | about 5 years ago | (#28849525)

You are true about the current situation. There is a sign for hope though, if the Treaty of Lisbon [wikipedia.org] will be accepted by Ireland et al, EP will have the power to rule on security matters, too. It is a shame though that we just elected an parlament which voted against this snoop hole, which is ignored by the EU commision (that actually has the EU power at the moment).

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849865)

which is ignored by the EU commision (that actually has the EU power at the moment).

Well, if it would be only ignored by the Commission it still would not happen. The Commission does not have the power for that. As the article states:

"On Monday, foreign ministers of European Union member states gave their approval for the European Commission and Sweden, which currently holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, to negotiate an agreement with Washington..."

So, it was approved by the governments of the 27 member states.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849959)

So, it was approved by the governments of the 27 member states.

It wasn't approved by "the governments"; just a few selected representatives (in this case the foreign and interior ministers IIRC).

These exact appointed represantatives who approved it, will turn to their citizens and say: "We dislike this too. Very very much! Really! But the EU demands it so we have to comply."

It's the wet dream of every secretary of the interior. More government power without even having to bother with those dumb citizens or the opposition.

Re:The EU is a totalitarian government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849889)

Well, that's why the CIA used one of their sockpuppets to lead a champagne on the first vote on it.
A the Irish fell for it, but this can perhaps be blamed on the potatoes.
I wonder what they will do this time.

Liberal doublethink on SWIFT (1)

Kligat (1244968) | about 5 years ago | (#28849291)

Why is it that when Stuart Levey, head of the division of the Treasury Department dealing with cutting off funds to terrorist organizations, freezing assets, stopping forgery and counterfeiting, etc., was re-appointed by Obama, SWIFT suddenly became a good thing, whereas before in 2006 I saw it vilified as much as the warrantless wiretapping?

Re:Liberal doublethink on SWIFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849767)

Why is it that when Stuart Levey ... was re-appointed by Obama, SWIFT suddenly became a good thing, whereas before in 2006 I saw it vilified ... ?

Easily answered.

Obama GOOD! Bush BAD! Democrat GOOD! Republican BAD!

The US wants their tax money (2, Interesting)

michaelmanus (1529735) | about 5 years ago | (#28849301)

There is tons of talk like this [wsj.com] about swiss banks forcing US clients out. I guess the they're caving under pressure.
What I'm curious about are other tax havens people have been using in recent times above and beyond swiss banks...

Re:The US wants their tax money (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849505)

Yup - most offshore jurisdictions currently shun US citizens due to their rulers tendency to demand full access, and control of their subjects assets. Offshore jurisdictions only deal with customers from authoritarian regimes if they happen to be relatively powerless on the world stage.

I regard the latest developments as merely a marketing push by the US of their offshore jurisdiction - Delaware - and a way to use political might in order to squash competition within the finance segment.
Delaware is one of the very few jurisdictions that are still able to offer completely anonymous banking/corporate services (through use of bearer shares), a service that cannot be obtained in Switzerland, Luxembourg or any of the offshore jurisdictions in Europe.

Macao also offers true anonymous banking and as they are now a part of China (who also wants to compete in the offshore segment and therefore refuses to allow the G20 to put Macao on any of its grey or black lists). Other jurisdictions that can be interesting for US tax subjects are Singapore, Dubai, Panama, the Seychelles, Mauritius and a bunch of other ones.

I personally think that we are beginning to see a "new financial Berlin wall" that is starting to separate the former powerhouses of the "old" economies from that of the "new" economies (BRIC and Africa ).

The behaviour displayed by the US in this matter has caused me and many of my colleagues to abandon any forms of business that in any way touch US based companies or individuals.

- As we're basically forced to choose between investments into EU/US (who are currently seeing their economies shrink) and the rest of the world (where we see strong economic growth) - we have basically chosen to abandon the US and US persons in our business dealings (We're in the business of making money - not propping up irresponsible governments).

Posting this anonymously due to the political sensitivity of these issues... I have very little faith in the rule of law once large sums of money are involved.

Re:The US wants their tax money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849771)

There is tons of talk like this [wsj.com] about swiss banks forcing US clients out.

Switzerland is not part of the EU.

Here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849335)

Our governments aren't allowed to spy on this data. So they allow the US to snoop around and then our police can get pointers from them. Our governments are in all but open opposition to our freedom.

Manus manum lavat (1)

Mojo66 (1131579) | about 5 years ago | (#28849361)

If the US would allow the EU to snoop their bank data too, then this wouldn't be that much of scandal. But of course, in their own view, the US is the only legitimate force to fight terrorism...

RIAA? Eh? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 years ago | (#28849363)

The only music shops in Europe are non-RIAA-approved ones. The organisation does not exist in Europe, even (AFAIK) in the popular new Lawsuit Flavour that the Russians got a preview of.

Re:RIAA? Eh? (5, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 5 years ago | (#28849469)

No, the RIAA doesn't exist in Europe... (Guess what the last A in RIAA means) However, pretty much every Nation has its own equivalent institution. I don't know them all, but in Belgium it's SABAM, in France it's SACEM. I'm sure there are others.

Re:RIAA? Eh? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849487)

while RIAA doesn't exist as such, each nation pretty much has an equivalent (or multiple equivalents even). they are also all private corporations that redistribute their earnings to their 'members'. of course, most of the money disappears along the way.

the equivalent in Belgium (SABAM) is currently getting sued for that very reason.

Recommended new tag: New World Order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849405)

Unless the Illuminati has already gotten to Slashdot...

Re:Recommended new tag: New World Order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850173)

The Illuminati are plural, and they *started* Slashdot.

You must be new here...

Misleading (1)

trifish (826353) | about 5 years ago | (#28849407)

and it appears likely that the European Union is going to comply

The word "comply" misleadingly suggests that the EU is somehow subordinated to the US. The correct word is allow (not comply).

Re:Misleading (4, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about 5 years ago | (#28849459)

They're letting another country snoop on their citizen's financial transactions. Sounds like they're being subordinated to me.

Re:Misleading (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 5 years ago | (#28849545)

And this is why I'm too ashamed to travel abroad.

Re:Misleading (1)

trifish (826353) | about 5 years ago | (#28850051)

It may "sound like" they are subordinated, if the reader is misinformed or uneducated. That's the point and that's why it's misleading. These agreements have usually mutual benefits. For allowing them to access these international banking data, the EU will get something in return.

Re:Misleading (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 5 years ago | (#28850107)

The trust of the people who put you in power is something not worth trading away.

Re:Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28850109)

You, an idiot, have just successfully proven the OP's point. It is misleading. You have been misled. (Yes, and get over it, knee-jerk sheep).

Re:Misleading (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#28850425)

I'm willing to bet it's most likely a reciprocal deal (you spy on my citizens, I'll spy on yours, we can both claim we're not spying on our own citizens), not subordination.

and vice versa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849655)

Needless to say that the US may access sensitive data of European citizens, but the EU may *not* access the same data of US citizens. Would be useless anyways, because there is not a single terrorist living in the States. Never has been and never will be.

this FP for GNA2A (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28849663)

US monitoring EU bank data (1)

TryBo (1607095) | about 5 years ago | (#28849753)

@Anonymous Coward. You get it all wrong when you claim that the EU is a totalitarian government. They are a bunch of wimps dressed i suites, nothing more. They still have to respect each individual country in the pact and their national constitution. They can NOT go past the regional rules of constitution in any way. That's why the treaty fell both in the Netherlands and in France. Denmark has forced a rewrite of a few suggestions over the years, due to our constitution dating back to 1849. So plz, get your facts right. The other thing about moving the servers to Europe I can only applaud. They should have done that years ago.

this will stop (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#28849879)

just as soon as all of the "great thinkers" in this thread (riaa... really? torture? totalitarianism? do you know what these words actually mean?) figure out a way to trace terrorist funding WITHOUT this kind of snooping

oh right, terrorist funding doesn't exist, its a myth. its made up by neocons for mind control

zzz

Bring back MyCarthy-ism (1)

meist3r (1061628) | about 5 years ago | (#28849901)

Public Anti-Terror campaigns, everybody accusing everybody else, political trials etc.

At least with that shit Americans at some point realized how horrible it is. Right now the headless chicken is still going strong.

Whaddyou 'spect ??? (1)

redelm (54142) | about 5 years ago | (#28850205)

At best, EU sees its' mandate as protecting its' citizens rights. Not in protecting anyone else, least of all outsiders who [horrors!] are violating their country's [already generous] tax laws.

EU is still not grown up (1)

tsa (15680) | about 5 years ago | (#28850271)

When the beep will the EU decide that it's had enough of this nonsense and just say NO? No wonder nobody votes in European elections. I thought after Bush we would not be the US's lapdog anymore but to my surprise and horror we still are not allowed to take more than 100 ml of fluid in our hand luggage, even in pan-european flights, and we have to put up with these ridiculous transparent plastic bags, and now this. Please please Brusseles, or Strassburg, give those Americans the finger and Just Say No!

Meet the new boss... (2, Insightful)

PinchDuck (199974) | about 5 years ago | (#28850363)

I will give President Change-you-can-believe-in some points for consistency. He voted to keep FISA in place, and loved the warrantless wiretaps. Mr. Obama speaks better than Bush, comes across as less abrasive, and seems to care more about the common man. Where it counts, however, he is still a power-freak who wants access to as much of your data as he can, just like Bush. All politicians suck.

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