Jun 172010
 
 June 17, 2010  Featured News, Non-U.S., Surveillance

The European Commission has agreed with the US the terms on which it will allow that country’s authorities access to the banking details of EU citizens.  The agreement must be approved by the European Parliament and Council before coming into force.

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Chris Pounder, director of Amberhawk Training and formerly of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, disagreed. In a blog post, he said that that requirement is no barrier to excessive information transfer. “The Draft Agreement appears to be wholly unbalanced,” he said.

“Article 4 allows the US Treasury to obtain ‘Data’ on request,” he said. “All the Treasury need do is specify the categories of data it wants as being necessary in connection with terrorism, get the formal approval of fellow security officers in Europol, and then the personal data can be transferred. Note there is no judicial warrant needed in relation to requests which could involve considerable amounts of personal data.”

“However, when the EU want data from the USA, Article 10 requires them to identify ‘a person or entity that there is reason to believe has a nexus to terrorism or its financing’. The difference between the two approaches is profound,” said Pounder.

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