Christian Engström, Pirate MEP

15 december 2010

Question to Commissioner Malmström on Wikileaks and Swift

Postat i: English,informationspolitik,Swift,Wikileaks — Christian Engström @ 11:06

Can EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström guarantee that Swift data is not used by the US to identify Wikileaks donors?

A couple of months ago the EU concluded and agreement with the US called the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, or TFTP. It means that data about Europeans’ banking transactions will be transfered in bulk to the US government from the Swift bank data system.

”The European Commission has negotiated on behalf of the European Union an agreement that will increase the security of European citizens while at the same time fully respecting their rights to privacy and data protection”, said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.

The Pirate Party and many other civil liberties organisations were critical of the agreement, since it means that data about private citizens who are not suspected of any crime is being handed out to the US police and security services. We pointed out that once the data has been transferred, EU authorities no longer have any control over how it is used.

The recent events around the Wikileaks whistle-blower site have highlighted the concerns we had when the Swift agreement was signed.

We have seen how the US government has put pressure on Mastercard, Visa, and Paypal to stop doing business with Wikileaks, and to confiscate Wikileaks’ assets. This has been done completely outside the law, before any charges of any crime have even been brought against Wikileaks.

Against this background, how do we know that the US does not use the Swift data to identify people in Europe who have donated money to Wikileaks?

As a member of the European Parliament, I have the right to ask questions to the Commission according Rule 117 of the Rules of Procedure. I have just submitted the following question:

What provisions are there in the recently concluded TFTP agreement to ensure that the US government will not use Swift data to track Europeans who donate money to Wikileaks, and how can the Commission guarantee the enforcement of these provisions?

The answer from the Commissioner Malmström should appear here and be due in six weeks. With the holiday season coming up, this probably means some time in February.

But I have no doubt that Wikileaks will still be in the headlines then as well.

…………

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29 kommentarer

  1. Har du glömt foliehatten nu igen?

    Kommentar av Pelle — 15 december 2010 @ 12:46

  2. Mycket bra gjort, skall bli väldigt intressant att se vad för puckat intetsägande svar hon kommer att ge.

    Kommentar av Peder — 15 december 2010 @ 13:30

  3. Good Question! I can’t wait to here the awnser.

    @Pelle – var glad att de finns folk som vågar ställa frågor (även om du anser de vara konspiratoriska).
    Kan du garantera att USA inte missanvänder SWIFT rådatan? Hur vet du att USA inte delar ut informationen om Europeiska företag till Amerikanska konkurrenter?

    Kommentar av Niklas — 15 december 2010 @ 14:04

  4. Awesome Christian! This was exactly what I wrote about some week ago! http://calandrella.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/wikileaks-donatorer-kan-terrorstamplas-pga-swift/

    Kommentar av calandrella — 15 december 2010 @ 14:36

  5. Om USA terror-stämplar WikiLeaks så är det väl fullt lagligt för dom enligt TFTP att få ut information och registrera alla som har donerat pengar till WL antar jag?! eller?

    Kommentar av ConnyT — 15 december 2010 @ 14:37

  6. I would have preferred it if the question didn’t specify WL like that; there are more organisations which are perfectly legal/have no formal criminal charges against them that the US government may consider ”questionable” and for which they may be monitoring donations and outspoken advocacy. WL could be used as an example, along the lines of ”In the light of recent events involving Wikileaks..” but we have to distance the discussion from WL specifically and make people, media and politicians realise that this is not an isolated event/organisation but a matter of much wider scope and much greater implications.

    But I -am- glad you posed the question nonetheless. I am actually a little apprehensive about visiting my friends in the US right now… I shouldn’t have to be afraid.

    Kommentar av Kakan — 15 december 2010 @ 15:04

  7. Christian that was the exactly right question to ask, thank you. I’m looking forward to the answers of Mrs. – I censor the net – Malmstöm

    Kommentar av Scusi — 15 december 2010 @ 15:26

  8. Those are good questions Christian. I was wondering the very same thing. It will be interesting to get a clear answer to this!

    Kommentar av Malingo — 15 december 2010 @ 17:49

  9. Well done!

    Maybe you could coordinate this question with Ron Paul in the US congress and have him ask the same question to put the pressure on from both sides?

    Kommentar av V — 15 december 2010 @ 17:57

  10. Good Question.
    Maybe you should ask Ms. Malmström another thing. When can we expect to read our movement-data (and all other related data we wanna share) on WikiLeaks. Or does somebody believe, that this data is safe in american Hands.

    Greets from Germany

    Kommentar av Frank — 15 december 2010 @ 17:59

  11. [...] more here in his blogpost. Read more here about SWIFT sharing our banking details with the US. Share and [...]

    Pingback av Some valid questions to Cecilia Malmström « Thought Police — 15 december 2010 @ 18:40

  12. Exactly the reason I’ve been afraid to donate to WL: Will I be listed as enemy of the state…
    Last time entering USA: my friend was asked just for 4 fingers to be pribted, from me they wanted all 10 fingers. (put tinfoil hat on)My donations to ACLU and EFF noted?(remove tinfoil)

    Kommentar av en finne — 15 december 2010 @ 18:59

  13. Thank you!

    Though I guess the answer is going to be some kind of “The Commission has no reason to suspect that the US is interested in such data”.

    Kommentar av Weirdo Wisp — 15 december 2010 @ 19:22

  14. I really like the question asked.

    Keep you rapier sharp, pirate!

    Kommentar av TTime — 15 december 2010 @ 20:42

  15. Bra//

    Kommentar av Aqua Vera — 15 december 2010 @ 22:40

  16. Thank you!

    Kommentar av german pirate — 15 december 2010 @ 22:49

  17. Sorry for being OT: by strange coincidence, TFTP also means ”Trivial File Transfer Protocol”.

    Kommentar av Christer — 15 december 2010 @ 23:05

  18. [...] Question to Commissioner Malmström on Wikileaks and Swift A couple of months ago the EU concluded and agreement with the US called the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, or [...] [...]

    Pingback av Top Posts — WordPress.com — 16 december 2010 @ 1:05

  19. [...] Engström, seines Zeichnes Mitglied des Europaparlaments für die Piraten, hat der EU-Kommission eine simple Frage gestellt: What provisions are there in the recently concluded TFTP agreement to ensure that the US [...]

    Pingback av Ooops! : Ralph's Blog — 16 december 2010 @ 9:28

  20. I thought SWIFT was only for international transactions? For inter-european wire transfer there is SEPA.

    Kommentar av Nils — 16 december 2010 @ 22:02

  21. [...] Question to Commissioner Malmström on Wikileaks and Swift Christian Engströn, der Pirat im EU-Parlament, fragt sich: "…how do we know that the US does not use the Swift data to identify people in Europe who have donated money to Wikileaks?" [...]

    Pingback av links for 2010-12-16 « Ein Mensch namens Lars … — 17 december 2010 @ 0:27

  22. @Pelle, #1

    No ”tinfoil hat” is necessary to be in doubt as to what the SWIFT-data will be used for. Consider that the US already has a proven record of knee-jerk reflexes on what their data mining has turned up (the most laughable cases being the monastery of nuns set on a no-fly list due to a clerical error – a lit they remained on for years).

    Now consider the following. The bulk financial data not only concerns citizens but will paint a very detailed picture of confidential maneuvers by major european companies in direct confrontation with US business. Any of close to two million people in the US have access/clearance to download, analyse, and freely handle that bulk data – much of which would be worth several hundred millions of dollars on the black market.

    I.e. as soon as your data is desireable, it will end up in the wrong hands due to leakage, corruption, or as part of an insider trading scheme. Because it is more or less unavoidable to find two million smart people who can hold gagging bagfuls of money without at least a few of them trying to walk off with it.
    Something which is extremely easy to do if all you need is a flash memory to store the lot in.

    Wikileaks was a very hefty wakeup call – we know they have received massive amounts of bulk data because they’ve had major newspapers edit and publishing that information. We have absolutely no clue how much bulk data has instead been covertly sold to organized criminals. Given that a single credit card identity is worth between 1-5 USD on the black market, there is ample motivation for committing such a crime relatively free of risk.

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 17 december 2010 @ 13:16

  23. Es geht weiter, wieder verliert wikileaks eine Bankverbindung. Visa, Mastercard, Paypal und jetzt die Bank of America: Die Großbank reiht sich bei den Unternehmen ein, die Zahlungen an WikiLeaks sperren. Vielleicht liegt es daran, dass wikileaks als nächstes Ziel eine amerikanische Grossbank anvisierte. Auf der anderen Seite wird man an diesem Beispiel sehen, ob es auch auf Seiten der Banken monopolistische Strukturen gibt. Das wäre wirklich nicht gut.

    Kommentar av ebook news — 19 december 2010 @ 11:29

  24. Well done C. You specify WL. The question needs to be repeatedly sent to the commission asking for guarantees not only wrt WL but also for all other situations were we don’t want USG to sneak into our clean pants.

    Kommentar av Mikael Larson — 19 december 2010 @ 13:59

  25. thank you !
    please continue asking questions like this until you and we get answers.

    greetings from Germany

    Kommentar av A. L. — 19 december 2010 @ 22:36

  26. British government wants all porn filtered out of the web, all fun sucked out of life…

    I found your entry interesting :)…

    Trackback av Programoweb — 20 december 2010 @ 16:00

  27. ……Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust was cited in a confidential report published first by WikiLeaks and then the New York Times that he had met with Chancellor Merkel after a vote on turning over the data. She was very very angry – angrier than he had ever seen her the diplomatic cable reported over the outcome of the vote.Merkel was particularly irritated with German members of the European Parliament from her Christian Democratic Union CDU and sisterChristian Social Union CSU parties according to the as part of the New York Times cache of cables it calls the States Secrets. These members of the parliament had indicated they would support the turnover of the data. That would show that Germany and Europe were serious about the fight against terrorism even if they had concerns about the United States positions on the privacy of personal data.Beust said that the Chancellor had personally lobbied German members of the two parities to support the agreement but that most ofthem ended up voting against the agreement anyway the cable published by the Times said.The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication also known as SWIFT provides messaging formats and services for the electronic transfer of The messages are exchanged by banks asset managers brokers and national and international central securities depositories.For local and international payments information about the ordering customer is disclosed to banks and operators in Switzerland and elsewhere.This information is used to investigate money laundering and terrorism financing.

    Kommentar av Monex — 24 december 2010 @ 11:38

  28. [...] die USA jetzt alle europäischen Spender für Wikileaks ermitteln können, ist dann auch nur der Piratenpartei aufgefallen. Ist doch eine tolle Demokratie und Freiheit in der wir leben Jetzt ist die Maske [...]

    Pingback av Verschwörungs-News-Ticker » Nerd6 — 11 januari 2011 @ 21:41

  29. [...] Ihr Euch noch an diese Anfrage von Christian Engström an die EU-Kommission? Es ging um die Frage, inwieweit das neue Swift-Abkommen es den amerikanischen Behörden erlaubt, WikiLeaks und Julian [...]

    Pingback av Nachgehakt : Ralph's Blog — 12 april 2011 @ 9:18


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