New Snowden leaks lead EU Parliament to urge ending data agreement with US
9:59 AM, Oct 23, 2013
BRUSSELS - European lawmakers narrowly approved a resolution seeking to scrap an agreement that grants U.S. authorities access to bank data for terrorism-related investigations.
The non-binding resolution on Wednesday followed leaks by Edward Snowden alleging the U.S. National Security Agency targeted a Belgium-based system of international bank transfers, known as SWIFT.
The resolution -- adopted 280-254 with 30 abstentions -- comes as a major rebuke, and shows the continuing outrage in Europe over Washington's surveillance programs.
The measure's opponents say cancelling the agreement would jeopardize a powerful tool in the fight against terrorism. Supporters say the alleged spying grossly violated the agreement and thereby voided it.
A majority of the 28-nation bloc's member states could decide to scrap the so-called Terrorist Finance Tracking Program if a violation were to be proven.