Robert Verkaik
London Telegraph
July 9, 2010

US anti-terrorism investigators have won the right to scrutinise the private bank details of British and other EU citizens after a crucial vote in the European parliament yesterday.

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The vote in favour of giving CIA agents access to a giant financial database follows a deal struck between US and EU negotiators.

Under the new arrangements, the EU police agency Europol will assess whether specific data requests are necessary for the fight against terrorism before the data is sent to the US, and the EU Commission will appoint its own officials to monitor the US investigators’ actions. There is also a requirement that bulk data can never be sent to third countries. The measures were passed by 484 MEPs in favour and 109 against.

Last night the White House welcomed its victory. In a statement, the Obama administration said: “Putting the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme on this co-operative course is another example of how we can work with our European partners to prevent terrorism and simultaneously respect the rule of law. This co-operation strengthens our transatlantic ties and makes all our people safer.”


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