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EU Overturns Agreement With US On Banking Data

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the seems-like-a-reasonable-decision dept.

Privacy 214

Following the lead of the civil liberties committee which last week recommended dropping it (against the wishes of the US), qmaqdk writes "The EU parliament overturned the previous agreement with the US which allowed US intelligence agencies to access EU banking data."

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Well done! (5, Insightful)

N3tRunner (164483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108738)

Good for them, way to grow a spine, Europe! Now if only American banks had the same motivation to protect its customers data from the very same agencies.

Re:Well done! (3, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108792)

But they're on the same side, and they get their buddies into plum jobs - just look at how good Henry Paulson was for them. Why would American banks argue with the American government? Everyone would benefit more if they just agreed to scratch each others' backs. (Well, except for the customers, but who cares about them, right?)

Re:Well done! (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109016)

But they're on the same side

There is no such thing in politics and finances.

Re:Well done! (2, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110812)

But they're on the same side

There is no such thing in politics and finances.

I think you are confusing the act they play for public consumption with the real thing.

It's like lawyers: in court they will fight for their side (it's their job), but outside they might go out together for golfing on weekends.

The main difference is that lawyers have constraints which for example make it unlawfull to get together and screw one of the sides in a case for personal benefit.

Politicians and the "masters of the universe" on the other hand have no real constraints with regards to screwing the side they "represent".

Re:Well done! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110850)

Whoosh...

Re:Well done! (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108810)

It's not like America needs special privileges for a lot of that information [slashdot.org] right now anyways.

Re:Well done! (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109438)

Now if only American banks had the same motivation to protect its customers data from the very same agencies.

The problem with that is banks are Federally chartered in the US. The FBI can make life difficult for any bank that does not comply.

LK

Re:Well done! (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109584)

> The problem with that is banks are Federally chartered in the US.

There is such a thing as state chartered banks.

> The FBI can make life difficult for any bank that does not comply.

And here I thought the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OTS and state regulatory agencies regulated banks.

Re:Well done! (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110246)

>>Now if only American banks had the same motivation to protect its customers data from the very same agencies.

I think they're more motivated by Uncle Sam's moneybags.

If you're a friend of the government, the government will cover your risky losses. You get to be Goldman Sachs. If you're not, then you get to play as Wachovia. In other words, being a friend of the government is the optimal place to be, since it lets you gamble as wildly as you like - you pocket any upside, and if your gamble doesn't pay off you just get a job as Treasury Secretary and write a blank check to your former place of employment.

Re:Well done! (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110730)

British courts did the right thing this week too- they ruled against the British government/US attempts to cover up US intelligence handed to the UK proving that one of our citizens was tortured before being moved to Guantanamo before being eventually released with no charges.

Turns out British intelligence was aware of the torture, which is why most people assumed our foreign office had such an interest in keeping it covered up in the first place.

Despite American threats to withdraw intelligence sharing if the data was released, our courts ruled that the data should be released, so it's a bit of a double win this week in standing up to oppressive American strong arm tactics of threatening to put us at risk from terrorists if we don't do what they say.

Don't get your hopes up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110734)

The leader of the Socialist group, Martin Schulz MEP, said: "We want a new and better deal with proper safeguards for people's privacy."

So there will be a new deal. It will just be less crappy than the old one. (How much less, that we will see.)

f1rst b@nk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31108756)

f1rst b@nk

Damn (4, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108770)

Now they'll just have to go back to the old fashioned way.

In case of emergency, break law

Not forgetting to ... (5, Insightful)

tobiah (308208) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108876)

In case of ambivalence, create emergency

We already know how this works (5, Insightful)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108804)

I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

Re:We already know how this works (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31108838)

Or if that fails..

US: Hello there small child can I see your private parts?
EU Banks: No, my parents said I'm not allowed to show those to anyone.
US: Thats ok, lets keep it a secret between us.

funniest AC I've seen in a while (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110750)

That's a subtle hint to Mod Parent Up!

Or don't. Whatever. Still funny.

Re:We already know how this works (2, Funny)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109000)

slut

Oh, it's more sinister than that... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109128)

Actually, as I understand it, this one was more a case of I'll show you yours if you'll show me mine.

The intelligence "sharing" is done precisely because each side could get in legal and/or political trouble for spying on its own citizens without good cause. On the other hand, if it's just foreign intelligence provided by a friendly state, well, that's OK, then. This is as much one in the eye for certain EU governments (whose appointed representatives previously forced this measure through at European level mere hours before the Lisbon Treaty kicked in and meant the elected MEPs would get a say, remember) as it is for the US.

Re:Oh, it's more sinister than that... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31109494)

As a US citizen, the first thing that came to mind when I read this was "WHOO HOO!"

About the only ones that are going "Oh no!" are the people in my government that feel that they should be able to get away with/do anything they damned well please, and that the rest of the world should just bend over, take it, and like it.

Just to be perfectly clear on the matter, I am VERY much opposed to those tactics from my government.

I am VERY pleased to see the power hungry hands and arms of my government get bitch slapped like this. VERY pleased. The concept of "Soveriegnty" when it is applied to "Foriegn nations" is apparently something my government has serious difficulties understanding.

Re:Oh, it's more sinister than that... (4, Insightful)

tobiah (308208) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110458)

Ya, my "whoo hoo" was followed closely by patriot guilt, but I'm over it. Distrust of one's government has always been a key component of American patriotism.

Re:Oh, it's more sinister than that... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110502)

Actually, as I understand it, this one was more a case of I'll show you yours if you'll show me mine.

No. The agreement was unilateral. The US had no obligation to provide the EU with the same information, which was the main reason why it was overturned. At least, that's the main point according to news sources on our side of the Atlantic.

Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (0, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108808)

Americans that want to avoid taxes, can now bank in Europe again. Soon the USA will follow suit and allow Europeans who do not wish to pay taxes to be shielded from Europe.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (5, Insightful)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108928)

Americans that want to avoid taxes, can now bank in Europe again.

Right, so to stop a few corrupt individuals and companies in the US avoiding paying tax in the US by banking in Europe, every banking transaction that passes through Europe (or the EU, with 27 countries and over 500m people - that's more than all of North America) should be reported to the US... Something about setting ones own house in order before messing with other people's springs to mind.

Moving on, it is nice to see that the (democratically elected) European Parliament is finally able to stand up to the (appointed) Council of Ministers (and the US); the Lisbon Treaty does have its good points (even if it was pushed through in a rather undemocratic way). Now if only the rest of it could get implemented and the Swedish Pirate Party could get their second MEP into office.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (4, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110478)

Ah something was denied to the US the US defense trigger some have comes out automatically without thinking. You have to be aware of that this treaty was a mutual spy upon you treaty. The US could not legally spy on the transactions of its own citizense but they could more or less spy upon the europeans, and vice versa, so what happens is that the data gets exchanged (all friend countries so why even doing some spying?) and then suddenly the US government has "YOUR" data (as well as all european governments and foreign agencies).

Before wishing us evil, think twice that the EU government has basically stopped a blatant spy attack of the US government against its own citizens and vice versa. Besides shifting banking data also opens the door to industry espionage especially in the banking sector.
Kicking all this was a good thing for both sides.

I hope the same will happen to whatever the dreaded Acta group currently negotiates. The EU parliament already is pretty pissed that they do not get any information as well there is a very high chance that the Acta groups treaties never will make it through the parliament no matter what is in there, they already made a significant number of people angry so that they vote against it automatically.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (2, Informative)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110808)

Undemocratic? We got not one, but two votes on the Lisbon Treaty here in Ireland :)

In fairness, the Treaty was signed by people's elected governments (democracy - you vote in a government to run your country as they see fit), and in countries other than Ireland, was not in conflict with the constitution (despite scrutiny in a number of countries it was found not to be a problem). Even in Ireland, if the government had wanted to, they could have passed almost all of Lisbon without a constitutional amendment (the amendment was only necessary for certain items). As far as I know, the main difference with Ireland is that the constitution is very detailed, and a previous amendment pretty much meant all European treaties had to be appended by constitutional amendment.

Besides, direct democracy isn't very sensible - Switzerland is an example (or indeed the history of constitutional amendments in Ireland). The majority can hold up essential reform (like not letting women have the vote till late 60s/early 70s) or pass dubious votes (e.g. the minarets vote) where a government, despite having to keep an eye on what voters want, does have some freedom to enact unpopular measures that may nevertheless be needed.

Anyone who thought Lisbon was a bad idea should have come here to Ireland to see the appalling scaremongering tactics by the opponents (Lisbon will mean your foetuses aborted, your sons conscripted, the elderly euthanised) as well as negative campaigning (the unpopular ruling government want you to vote Yes, fat cats want the gravy train to continue, etc.). These are tactics that political parties have refrained from using in general elections etc. as they just lead to a vicious downward spiral. The proponents used standard political tactics based on generalisation of arguments (so "Vote Yes for Recovery", "Vote Yes for Jobs", etc.). These kind of tactics are acceptable enough and the public are familiar enough with them. You do have to sum up your arguments snappily on election posters. And all you need is some clever brainstorming to get your point across this way - no need to resort to dirty tactics.

Besides, as cynical as people are about politicians and the establishment - when *all* main political parties, opposition and government are speaking together - surely it should suggest that they may be right? Admittedly losing the first vote also showed they were incompetent.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (2, Interesting)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110860)

I'm just happy that the guys I helped elect to represent me in the EU are doing their job.

The EU Parliament is the only directly elected EU institution (the members of the European Comission are nominated by countries' governments - and many are in the pockets of some lobbyist or other - and the Council of Europe is made up of representatives from each EU countries' governments) and it is the most consistent defender of things like consumer rights and the privacy of the EU citizens.

I would like to remind every EU Slashdotter that if you are an EU citizen, no mater where you live in the EU (even outside your home country) you can vote for the EU Parliament - most people in the EU are not exercising this right so your vote will be even weightier.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (2, Insightful)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108944)

Yes, AGAIN, it's not like the US always had the right to see EU banking data.
Furthermore the world is a bit bigger than only the US and the EU, there'll always be opportunities.
They'll still be able to see the cashflow going out of the country though, unless it's foreign money.
In short: not a valid argument and props to the EU for finally deciding that they will not kiss American ass any longer.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (4, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109020)

Americans that want to avoid taxes, can now bank in Europe again. Soon the USA will follow suit and allow Europeans who do not wish to pay taxes to be shielded from Europe.

Nope. Sorry. This has nothing to do with sharing records for tax collection. This agreement allowed intelligence agencies in the U.S. to secretly access banking information for all customers, including non-U.S. citizens. The tax data sharing agreements are separate and above board and require the bank to supply data only on those required to pay income tax in the U.S. (or whichever country they share with). Virtually all countries participate in tax data sharing now, so I'm afraid you can't get out of paying your taxes simply by banking in Europe.

Cool, now nobody has to stop terrorists. (-1, Flamebait)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109074)

"Nope. Sorry. This has nothing to do with sharing records for tax collection. This agreement allowed intelligence agencies in the U.S. to secretly access banking information for all customers, including non-U.S. citizens."

Al-Qaeda, Iran, North Korea...

Re:Cool, now nobody has to stop terrorists. (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109166)

Wait a minute, you actually think Al-Qaeda is a country?
Other than that you are right that there are still plenty of countries without these agreements, hence my previous post.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to stop terrorists. (5, Funny)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109630)

Wait a minute, you actually think Al-Qaeda is a country?

They must be. We are at war with them.

Drugs and teenage sex are countries too, I suppose.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to stop terrorists. (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110442)

ha!

Re:Cool, now nobody has to stop terrorists. (2, Funny)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110450)

Drugs and teenage sex are countries too, I suppose.

So where would one apply for a visa to these countries? I can think of a few teenagers who'd love to go, and get off my lawn in the process. Win-win!

Re:Cool, now nobody has to stop terrorists. (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110802)

Why just teenagers? >:-)

Re:Cool, now nobody has to stop terrorists. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110024)

Al-Qaeda, Iran, North Korea...

EU members have their own intelligence agencies (presumably with reasonable access - subject to privacy laws and various checks - to all that banking data) that deal with al-Qaeda, Iranian and North Korean operatives should they operate in or through EU.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31109088)

I do. I used a false name.
The US will never check the name Osama Bin Laden because they'll assume hes using an alias.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110244)

This agreement allowed intelligence agencies in the U.S. to secretly access banking information for all customers, including non-U.S. citizens.

Uhhh, no; it does not. You may want to look up what SWIFT [wikipedia.org] actually does:

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ("SWIFT") operates a worldwide financial messaging network which exchanges messages between banks and other financial institutions. SWIFT also markets software and services to financial institutions, much of it for use on the SWIFTNet Network, and ISO 9362 bank identifier codes (BICs) are popularly known as "SWIFT codes".

So what the intelligence services could access up to now where payments, or more precisely, messages that where trasnmitted via SWIFT. The dodgy money changer, around the corner, doesn't use SWIFT for transfers and SWIFT wouldn't know about your banking relationships, unless you're the final beneficiary from a payment via them. And there's no point for them to store data on an end-customer level, since it's a messaging service between financial institutions, exclusively.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (3, Informative)

horza (87255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109076)

The Americans tax their citizens on their world-wide income, no matter where they live. The reverse isn't true. So why would a rich European want to hide in a high tax, high unemployment country with record gun crime and without a decent health care system? Though I may sound a little harsh on your system, you under-estimate your fellow Americans. My job is to sell luxury real estate to the wealthy, and I also arrange private banking in Monaco. Virtually none of my American clients are eager to avoid paying taxes.I won't name other nationalities, for fear of being accused of stereotyping, but I will say that in my experience Americans are in the very top percentile of honest tax payers. Though you may have problems with corporations, where every tax dodge is purely for the benefit of the shareholder, you should have more faith in your fellow citizens. Overall you can be proud of them.

Phillip.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (4, Interesting)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109198)

Hmmm, I was going to tear you an new one crying BS on high taxes & unemployment (the US & EU have essentially the same unemployment)...then I saw why everyone wants to claim residence in Monaco.

http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Europe/Monaco/Taxes-and-Costs [globalpropertyguide.com]

Personal income tax: 0%.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109650)

And why is this bad? It's a simple matter of "path of least resistance". Monaco offers 0% income tax. However, some nations stipulate proof of living there. So, Monaco pulls in revenue from their citizens taxes whom in turn charges their clients (foreigners) a fee of residency. It's a bloody brilliant ruse! In the end, both Monaco and their "clients" win.

As the ol saying goes...."Don't hate the player. Hate the game."

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109204)

This ain't about tax avoidance at all.

It has always been the case that those Americans who want to avoid taxes can do so in the US easily -- simply setup up a non-profit for the purpose, and be done with it, safely and legally. I know quite a few Americans who do just that, and don't bother with offshore accounts.

Shipping data wholesale to the US authorities is a legal problem in Europe mostly because there privacy protection still has some limited meaning.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110038)

Americans that want to avoid taxes, can now bank in Europe again. Soon the USA will follow suit and allow Europeans who do not wish to pay taxes to be shielded from Europe.

If they earn their money in US, then transfer to a European bank would originate in US, ultimately, and can be monitored.

If they didn't earn their money in US, and they don't reside there, then why is it any business of US government in the first place?

(I understand you may have that written in your laws, but it's not like that would the the first silly American law, and the world at large has no obligation to help you enforce such laws - no more so than it has any obligations to help you enforce your online gambling ban.)

If they earned their money abroad, come there to pick it up, and then enter US, then your customs should be trained to deal with it.

Re:Cool, now nobody has to pay taxes. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110462)

This is about the SWIFT database that catalogs international transactions, not the contents of your Swiss bank account.

A good start! (2, Interesting)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108814)

It's a shame that similar action won't be forthcoming when it comes to the lopsided extradition treaties though.

N.B. These don't apply to all EU member states but are particularly bad with our spineless foreign office.

Can someone please explain to me ... (0, Flamebait)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108824)

How's Obama any different than Bush?

The US is still oppressing their rules and wishes onto the rest of the world.

Nothing has changed.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31108910)

Obama is more intelligent and is also a better speaker.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31109600)

Are you talking about Obama or the teleprompter? If you do not know what I'm talking about, just catch him speaking when the teleprompter is down or out of action. In that regard, Bush seems about equal or better then Obama.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31109722)

Are you talking about Obama or the teleprompter? If you do not know what I'm talking about, just catch him speaking when the teleprompter is down or out of action. In that regard, Bush seems about equal or better then Obama.

That's interesting, I was unaware of that (I don't live in the US, though).
Do you have any video with a good example of what you claim?

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110046)

Well, if Bush was as bad with a teleprompter than Obama is without one, then I'd say that it's still a definite improvement.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110446)

Well, if Bush was as bad with a teleprompter than Obama is without one, then I'd say that it's still a definite improvement.

I'm not sure. In a way, I'd much rather he be less charismatic, less smooth.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (2, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110424)

Does it actually matter?

I want a president who surrounds himself with smart people and listens to them. That's a smart leader, not necessarily one who is the best at everything.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110846)

I want a president who surrounds himself with smart people and listens to them. That's a smart leader, not necessarily one who is the best at everything.

It's very common for someone to have an over-inflated view of their own abilities. Such people will only perceive others to be smart if those others agree with everything they say.

This is how you wind up with idiots surrounded by yes-men in charge.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108962)

Who, besides the fanbois, said he was?

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (0, Troll)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108970)

Um, he's black? Duh.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109100)

For starters, we don't seem to be bombarded with "with us or against us" rhetoric.

Also, current administration has at least enough tact to not encourage negative attitued towards, say, France; or "Old Europe".

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (1)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109120)

Yeah - that's exactly the problem nowadays - it's all "politically correct".

But under the hood - same old, same old.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (2, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109240)

How's Obama any different than Bush?

The US is still oppressing their rules and wishes onto the rest of the world.

Nothing has changed.

Obama is using diplomacy to get other countries to do what we want, while Bush used more or less thinly veiled threats. Whether or not that's better is debatable, but at least in theory it will give other countries more of a choice in the matters.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109726)

How's Obama any different than Bush?

Obama is using diplomacy to get other countries to do what we want, while Bush used more or less thinly veiled threats. Whether or not that's better is debatable, but at least in theory it will give other countries more of a choice in the matters.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109774)

oops.. my bad, here again:

How's Obama any different than Bush?

Obama is using diplomacy to get other countries to do what we want, while Bush used more or less thinly veiled threats. Whether or not that's better is debatable, but at least in theory it will give other countries more of a choice in the matters.

I'm not sure if there is a boundary between "diplomacy" and "veiled threats". Sometimes it seems that "veiled threats" is actually one of the tools of diplomacy.

While I do not condone threat in foreign relations, I'm skeptical it is not part of the repertoire of the so-called diplomacy.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (0)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109750)

Obama is using diplomacy to get other countries to do what we want, while Bush used more or less thinly veiled threats. Whether or not that's better is debatable, but at least in theory it will give other countries more of a choice in the matters.

That was only a stated 'intention' beforehand.

After one round of foreign diplomacy, the Obama administration scratched their heads and went "huh, I don't get it, now we asked them nicely and those foreign governments still want to put their own interests before American interests. Oh well, it's back to thinly veiled threats then"

I don't know what exactly goes on in the mind of a world power leader who somehow expected foreign leaders suddenly to stop doing their job (which is putting the interests of their own countries first) and start putting American interests first, with nothing to gain in return, purely on the basis of a more handsome face and more eloquently phrased thinly veiled threats.

It's hardly a secret that, despite his popularity (compared to his predecessor at least) among the people, the Obama administration seems to be getting along poorly with the European governments, and now they seem to be picking fights with allies in Asia.

I'm not saying that this is wrong. Obama's job description is to look out for American interests only. It's obvious that if you want to get something for nothing, you're going to have to use threats, so that's what he'll be doing.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (5, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109448)

How's Obama any different than Bush?

Bush was honest about what he believes.

Bush's agenda was all about maintaining the physical safety of Americans, even if privacy had to suffer. (I disagree with this too BTW)
Obama's agenda is all about claiming high ideals while brokering backroom deals to do whatever the fuck he wants to anyway.

LK

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110366)

Why is this modded funny not insightful?

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (2, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110498)

I would not be so harsh about Obama,he has to face an entirely different situation. Bush also was not honest about his believes, most of the Iraq war just was done to get a handful of US corporations to cash in. Cheneys company was one of the huge winners of this deal, the international soldiers the loosers.

Obama currently fights an entirely different battle, Bush gave to him a basically fucked up country, not close to bankrupcy but with a serious debt problem, an pushing everything through is a problem because the entire parliament is just whores on the payroll of lobbyists anymore. So to get your agendas even remotely through you have to do some rearrangements with the current political situation. The situation of Bush was much easier because he just reigned for the payroll of the lobbyists and did not care about anything else.

For that I personally think Obama has been doing very well, but my personal opinion simply is you cannot rule the US anymore, there is too much greed selfishism and too much bribery (on legal level via donations) going on. I personally doubt anyone could do better than Obama did, I think 99% of all people in his position would even do worse.

Re:Can someone please explain to me ... (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110504)

I forgot that is how I judge the situation as an outsider.

As a US Citizen all I can say is... (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108826)

About time the EU showed some backbone and told the US where to stick it. The US has bent everyone else over and had their way far too long. Now that the US's economy is a mess, the dollar is weak and getting weaker and the Euro is fast taking the place the Dollar once had, the US needs to be sent a strong, loud and clear message that it's hay day is over and it's going to have to rely upon diplomacy, cooperation and fair play instead of idle threats and ham-fisted foreign policy towards it's allies.

Re:As a US Citizen all I can say is... (2, Informative)

OnlineAlias (828288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108984)

FYI, the Euro is tanking against the dollar right now, as investor's fear of a crash of the Euro due to the PIGS. And that is against an already heavily devalued dollar. Now would not be a good time to deny European banks access to the American market. Your plan would pretty much ensure the demise of the Euro as European countries end up pulling out of the Eurozone so they don't have to bail out the PIGS. If they don't figure out some way to devalue the Euro even further for the countries that are in deep trouble (Greece), people are going to have to start cleaning the crap off the walls....

Re:As a US Citizen all I can say is... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109214)

That's called diplomacy :-)

It's not just the PIGS (0, Troll)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110386)

Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are the worst but not the least. Most of the countries in Europe have spending and Debt levels that (as a percentage of GDP) are double the US level everyone is worried about. What the PIGS are is a test, because if the PIGS collapse the entire Eurozone is going to go down. Greece is the first action and how the EU reacts will dictate how the financial community values things going forward. If Greece isn't fixed your probably going to see a BIG drop in the Euro as everyone runs away in fear of a Eurozone collapse. In fact that fear may cause the collapse as a self fulling myth as the currency devalues. Things are stable right now, but if the public backlash in Greece against the public spending cuts that are being implemented goes badly you better move all your money out of Euro's.

If you don't think this is a big deal you are foolish (not responding to the OP, clarifying what you said). The account deficits and debt levels in the EU make the US look like we are fiscally frugal. All that spending is going to catch up some day, and the scary thing is the budgets in the EU don't have flexibility. 90% of EU spending is entitlements. Those are brutally hard to cut with massive public protests but at some point the rest of the world is going to stop loaning money for this spending and if it happens abruptly it could cause an economic collapse and run on the banks. The Euro is a fiat currency like the rest in the world, that basis of it's existence is trust that it's worth something. Economic collapse in the PIGS could trigger a massive run of devaluation on the Euro which would wipe out trillions in value overnight and destroy the economies of many of the EU nations. Ironically if such a collapse happens Germany and England are likely the only ones to survive it.

Re:It's not just the PIGS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110428)

FYI, It's the UK not ENGLAND...

We may survive the crash of the Euro not because of the strength of our economy (it is in deep do-do thanks to our PM) but simply because we are not in the Eurozone.
Like a few other countries (eg Sweden) we have yet to be bullied into signing up for the Euro.
Thankfully.
If the value of the Euro tanks enough, I may be able to afford to buy that cottage in france and retire. I know it is small mercies but for me and my French wife, it is the only future we see for us.

Re:It's not just the PIGS (5, Insightful)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110688)

Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are the worst but not the least. Most of the countries in Europe have spending and Debt levels that (as a percentage of GDP) are double the US level everyone is worried about. ...

Uhm, the US federal deficit stands at 10.64% [usgovernmentspending.com] , only slightly lower than the 12.5% of Greece, the worst performer in the Euro zone at this time. Portugal seems to have a deficit of 9.3%, Spain 11%. The I in PIGS is Ireland with 11%, not Italy. Mind you, these are the worst performers in the Euro zone, and relatively small economies, the average figures of of the entire Euro zone are looking a lot better than the US right now, and definitely better than the UK. The market doesn't only look at cold, hard figures though.

About the Euro tanking vs the dollar, I remember almost a decade ago, the Euro was worth about $0.70, now it stands at twice that amount. Both those extreme values are unrealistic and harmful, it would be better to have a stable exchange rate close to 1:1

Re:As a US Citizen all I can say is... (-1, Offtopic)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108994)

I like your .sig:

I'm sure you could trawl every organisation involved with Web Standards to find faults on their sites, though. For example:

http://www.w3.org/Help/ [w3.org] has an empty <a></a> tag pair that should throw a warning in W3C's "strict" XHTML 1.0 validator but doesn't: Validate this [w3.org]

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/ [w3.org] doesn't include a type="text/css" attribute on one of its stylesheet <link...> tags, but again this isn't picked-up in the W3C validator: Validate this [w3.org] which instead complains about an issue with the DOCTYPE tag.

Re:As a US Citizen all I can say is... (0)

evilviper (135110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110136)

The US has bent everyone else over and had their way far too long.

Umm... No. Not at all really.

Now that the US's economy is a mess, the dollar is weak and getting weaker and the Euro is fast taking the place the Dollar once had

The dollar has gained quite significantly since 2007. The Euro's mindshare was the first thing to go in the recession... Not just a chink in the armor, but a forced realization that a defacto currency, from which any country can opt-out at any time, with no central governing authority, but with individual authorities with a poor understanding of how to handle such changes, and with several weak players involved, is not a safe bet in the slightest. The risk of Greece defaulting on it's loans is forcing down the Euro right this minute, despite stronger EU countries making guarantees on Greece's behalf...

Much like China, the EU looks like a great economy, if you don't look too deeply, and you're not forced to see what is going to happen when the first speed-bump comes along.

the US needs to be sent a strong, loud and clear message that it's hay day is over and it's going to have to rely upon diplomacy, cooperation and fair play instead of idle threats and ham-fisted foreign policy towards it's allies.

I'd point to Kosovo for a look at what European "diplomacy" can do... Lots of speeches over the years about "never again," and then a whole lot of nothing when a real stand needs to be made, when nobody has economic interests on the line... For all the money, for all the pot-shots at the US, for all the bluster, nobody in the world stood up to put a stop to the genocide, until the US stepped in... This in not just my opinion, for the record, there's no shortage of Europeans who hang their head in shame when forced to recognize their leaders lack the backbone to backup their own stated morals.

Sadly, we saw this repeated again in Darfur. The US was tied-up in two all-out wars, so the most flagrant example of genocide in decades in left unopposed. No Europe, no China, no Russia. Nobody. It took the US to make a big deal about it, politically, and pledge a large chunk of money towards the effort, before anything happened, and it was still a pathetic effort, which left many thousands to be raped and murdered long into the effort, such as it was. Contrast this with Kosovo.

I say this not as an ignorant and arrogant American, but as a distant observer... Frankly, we'd all better hope and pray that the US's "hay day" isn't over, by a long shot, because it's clear there's nobody out there willing to take over the tough and unrewarding roles the US has performed for several decades... When the pirates are taking over the oceans, making trade impossible, and China is doing really nasty stuff with it's clout, everyone will long for the days when the worst we had to deal with was "ham-fisted foreign policy" we all whined about... Not that it shouldn't be whined about, but this (largely Europeans) fervent anti-Americanism we see touted on /. so often is a rather serious case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. The grass may seems greener on the other side, but it's pretty clear that there's no grass at all over there...

 

Re:As a US Citizen all I can say is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110178)

we'd all better hope and pray that the US's "hay day" isn't over,

The rest of the world wishes it is.

Re:As a US Citizen all I can say is... (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110716)

Frankly, we'd all better hope and pray that the US's "hay day" isn't over

Does "we" include Iraqis and Palestinians ?

Re:As a US Citizen all I can say is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110722)

Oh yes. Americans bombed Serbia to the ground and right after that Albania funds a rebellion in Macedonia - a dream of Great Albania nearly came true. Thanks a bunch, Merkins.

This isn't over (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108930)

The same thing will come back again and again under a different name each time. And besides there are other ways. Somebody "accidentally" leaves a suitcase full of backup tapes of customer info in a taxi... No problem

cryptic reasoning (1)

tardis owner (1668757) | more than 4 years ago | (#31108950)

Of course the EU has no interest in the US gaining access to EU banking data. There is no way in Hell they would willingly give up this info. The US intelligence community probably is saying they are only looking for information for anti-terrorist data. The EU isn't refusing the providing individual pieces on information. They just don't want to submit to US supremacy. They don't even need to. However, information leads to power. Power leads to control. The EU is not looking to give the US that kind of control. In the "conspiracy theory" direction, the EU has several "families" that are collectively owed trillions in debt, owed by the people, collectively, of the US. Also, these families do not want any information (money trails), leading back to them, in any regards to their use of power and control in their day to day (behind the scenes) puppet mastering.

^Yuo fail 1t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31108952)

invited bac4 aga1n.

Foreign power in my bank account, no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31109032)

This is good, why should some foreign power be able to see my banking records?

Old Europe strikes again (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31109186)

Putting their own petty concerns over the safety and security of American citizens.

Soon a new US law (4, Interesting)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109404)

It will soon be illegal for an American or any entity operating in the United States to use the SWIFT money transfer service.

Re:Soon a new US law (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109724)

It's not like the US wants to be part of the modern world (read: SWIFT) anyway... WTF is that $20 charge for transferring money?

Re:Soon a new US law (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110260)

While there is a charge for some bank transfers, most international e-banking transfers within the EU are charge-free. I have never had more than about a euro charge for a transfer outside the EU. If you get charged 20 dollars, talk to your bank, it seems to me they're the most likely culprit.

The easiest way to deal with such US demands... (4, Insightful)

linuxhansl (764171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109490)

is to require reciprocity. That goes for access to financial data as well as travelling/airline data.

It seems to me the US is quick to access other countries' data, but it far less willing to provide equal access to internal data as well.
Hence this would either level the playing ground or put a stop to US demands.

Re:The easiest way to deal with such US demands... (4, Insightful)

keeboo (724305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109850)

is to require reciprocity. That goes for access to financial data as well as travelling/airline data.

Though slowly, it seems that other countries are getting fed up with certain US policies.
Your comment reminded me of this incident [chinadaily.com.cn] few years ago.

Re:The easiest way to deal with such US demands... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110436)

I always said, subject US citizens to the same scrutiny as they do with us.

That includes treating them as criminals (finger prints, travel itineraries, personal information, etc.) when they enter the EU and of course all data they want has to come back here too under the same conditions; so our secret agencies can pass their corporations' banking data to their EU competitors.

That would be the best way to stop all that nonsense.

Re:The easiest way to deal with such US demands... (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110512)

You also have to be aware that you have to be in a certain position to make such demands, the US is slowly but surely loosing that position. The european countries have not had such a position for a long time. And I must say it is more cozy not to have it than to have it.
But the US has to get used to it, and that transition is mentally hard for a lot of people!

Re:The easiest way to deal with such US demands... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110744)

Yeah, that worked really well when the US required travellers' details.
Or when the US enforced flights to have body-scanned travellers on-board.

Re:The easiest way to deal with such US demands... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110838)

Not a good way. What if the US agrees to it? Then we Eurpoeans still have our privacy violated as well as the privacy of the American public. Two wrongs don't make a right.

It is not so much that we do not want to share data about (potential) criminal activities. The problem is that we do not want to share the bulk.

It is like listening in on phone calls. Not OOjk if you listen to them all. OK if you have a court order to listen to specific individuals to build a case against them.

So not OK to see all my data. OK to see all the data from Osama Bin Laden if a court has decided that it is needed.

Huh? (0, Troll)

gggrrl (1610753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31109700)

Huh? This bank service had servers in the USA, and then, after 911 the transactions were under a secret investigation, and then, the bank service moved their servers to Belgium, and then, the USA obtained a secret agreement at the EU to continue tracking transactions, and then, got found out, and then, EU officials say, no. This is supposed to be a big "win" for democracy? Was this bank service, like, handling the transactions that finance world terror groups and insuring their privacy?

Re:Huh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31109918)

well you have the white wash cover up version i thought up while using the john, the servers were in the US and the data was just picked off from the copper lines, the europeans found out and moved the servers to europe, and the US asked for the data, the eu agreed, some politics and certain dates made it possible, then it was voted on and the US lost the info, possible payback for the cia-italy and the boeing-airbus, oh and lichenstein

parliament (4, Informative)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110210)

The european government consists of two elements - the commission and the parliament.

What you need to know in short:

The commission is appointed, completely undemocratic, and holds most of the power and does most of the actual activity. It also bends over backwards whenever the US wants something. It was the commission who gave away our flight data, our personal data, our Internet data and now our banking data.

The parliament is elected, is the democratic body, and has very limited powers (though they have shifted around a bit with the last reform). It isn't exactly a mecca of reason, but it more often than not stops the worst excesses of the commission.

So once again, I applaud the parliament. They're fighting uphill battles against the commission all the time.

Re:parliament (5, Informative)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110552)

Actually the european parliament since the Lissabon treaties now are in place is more powerful than ever, which is a good thing, since the parliament is very democratically elected and thanks to the sheer number of fractions things like fraction alignments like it happens in some local parliaments never can happen.
For some european countries now the EU parliament is the first parliament they have in history which really acts like a parliament and not like some whore following whatever the fraction alignment tells them to do just to stay on the payroll of someone.

I would say since the Lissabon treatys the EU is closer to democracy than some EU countries are, we have the comission which can be axed by the parliament and every, absolutely every law which needs to be passed down to the countries have to be ratified and can be axed by the parliament (before it had advisory status, they could axe but in the end there were enough other ways to push the gutter down)

The problem also never was the comission, the media just blew it out of proportion, in fact some parts of the comission really do an excellent job for instance the ones which handle the anti trust issues. Important things such as the Swift treaty mostly were carried on by the council of ministers, which is represented by ministers of the single countries, exactly those persons who voted yes in those gremia and then went home to their own countries blaming the EU for what again was passed down over the EU into the single countries. Speaking of lying the members of the council of ministers were the biggest liers and basically scapegoated the EU and Comission for everything they simply did themselves! I personally stopped blaming the comission for everything because most of the evil stuff simply came over the council of ministers down the last years (mostly the interior ministers which seem to have a habit of becoming assholes as soon as they are appointed, or have been the biggest ones before even being appointed)

Let the Light Shine (0, Troll)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110320)

There is no valid reason for anyone to be able to have private bank data. Encouraging lies, cheating and tax fraud are not what nations should be about.

Re: Let the Light Shine (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110460)

"There is no valid reason for anyone to be able to have private bank data."

Yes, US agencies should be able to "accidentally" pass all banking data of EU companies to their US competitors. After all, we are all friends, aren't we? Nobody would dare to abuse that.

The US government would "never" tolerate industrial espionage ... no siree ... never ... starting tomorrow ... or maybe next year ... well definitely 2012 ... under certain conditions ... not.

Re: Let the Light Shine (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110548)

So you'd have no problem posting all your transaction records here then?

Warning - mentally ill people in US Gov. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110694)

...in case you think I'm a troll - this is official!
No wonder they come up with ideas like "let's make everyone give their banking data to US!"

http://www.justice.gov/oarm/jobs/attorneyvotingoarm2010.htm [justice.gov]

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division is seeking up
to 10 experienced attorneys for the position of Trial Attorney in the
Voting Section in Washington, D.C.
[...]
The Civil Rights Division encourages qualified applicants with
targeted disabilities to apply. Targeted disabilities are
[...]
mental retardation, mental illness
[...]

Allow me to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31110742)

Victory is ours!

Will SWIFT stay in Europe? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31110866)

One of the possibilaties is that SWIFT moves to Switserland where the EU has nothing to say. The banks do not really care, so it would be an easy solution for them. That would mean that new laws would be made (perhaps in each country individually) to avaoid the transfer of the information to Switserland (and then to the US).

This will be a lot harder to avoid and could take several years if it would happen at all.

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