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EU lawmakers call for end of US bank data deal

September 24, 2013

BRUSSELS (AP) — Several European lawmakers are seeking to end an agreement that grants U.S. authorities access to bank data for terrorism-related investigations because of Washington’s surveillance programs.

Three lawmakers said Tuesday that leaks by Edward Snowden alleging that the U.S. National Security Agency targeted a Belgium-based system of international bank transfers, known as SWIFT, means the agreement has been effectively voided.

But the EU Commission, the bloc’s executive body, says sharing the bank data under the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program provides “law enforcement authorities a powerful tool in the fight against terrorism.”

Still, Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told lawmakers she has not received sufficient answers from her U.S. counterparts regarding the spying allegations. She said if the agreement was violated, a majority of EU states could decide to cancel it in retaliation.

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