European MPs pass resolution to probe Swift data snooping

European MPs pass resolution to probe Swift data snooping

The European Parliament has passed a resolution demanding that EU bodies disclose how much they knew about a secret US government programme to scrutinise financial transactions passed over the interbank Swift network.

European parliamentarians voted by 302 to 219 on a resolution to force the European Commission, Central Bank and member states to reveal their prior knowledge of the classified US counter-intelligence operation.

The move follows revelations by the New York Times that the Bush administration was using emergency powers to access data on suspect wire transfers sent over the Swift network.

Swift says it responded to compulsory subpoenas for limited sets of data from the US administration, and that it kept both Belgium's central bank and the European Central Bank informed of its actions.

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