2010/02/11

Thanks, European Parliament!

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I asked (rhetorically) in November "Is this betrayal?" in the context of the SWIFT agreement. European governments were ready to allow a foreign power to spy on private persons in the EU more than most of them were allowed to themselves.
The European Parliament had to support this measure - and it saved personal liberties against the intention of the governments. Someone apparently had forgotten to include the EP in lobbying, group think and brainwashing.

There's much negative to say about European unifications, but it's nice to have an additional check in the governance system. The normal checks were apparently eroded over time for theys don't seem to withstand the terror hysteria well enough.

Now it's about time to hope that the unofficial acceptance of foreign spying in EU countries will be ended. The effectiveness of the rabid spying for counterterrorism is very questionable and unproven; most successes were apparently the result of proven HumInt.
The German minister of justice, federal police agency (BKA) and federal public attorney's office (the latter is known to have hardliner tendencies) opposed the SWIFT agreement because the cost of liberty was not justified by the questionable relevance for security/CT.
The process of the agreement was hasty and questionable itself; it was meant to circumvent the EuParl in anticipation of its disagreemnt (that's certainy noa ppropriate understanding of democracy!).


The Swiss may be reminded of the recent conflict about bank secrecy that rages about tax dodgers between Germany and Switzerland (they deposit cash at Swiss banks and get whistle-blowed by individuals for rewards). Well, the world is ugly.
I think the difference between a general surveillance of a continent's money transfers in search for a handful criminals is unacceptable while I can tolerate that information about criminals is being sold without or almost without information about innocents being given away. I wouldn't mind that we give info about positively identified terrorist's money away, after all.

Sven Ortmann
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