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Europol provides SWIFT data to CIA

Wednesday 8 June 2022 10:40 CET | News

Europol has supplied European data from the SWIFT financial transaction system to the US Treasury Department, ending up with the CIA.

Two official reports to the US Congress, available to ORF.at, reveal the amount of data that flows into the US and the rules governing this transatlantic data mining partnership.

The data transfers from Europol to the USA are based on the so-called ‘Terrorist Finance Tracking’ agreement between the EU and the US from 2009. Before that, the CIA had been dealing with huge amounts of data from the SWIFT data center in Culpeper since 2001. Until then, all European transactions had also been mirrored at the SWIFT location in Culpeper. After this scandal broke out in 2006, the European SWIFT data was only processed and stored in the data center in Zoeterwoude (Netherlands) and since 2013 also at the new location in Diessenhofen (Switzerland).

Since the signing of the TFTP agreement in 2009, data from the European SWIFT system has been supplied to the US by Europol, officially to the US Treasury, the US Treasury Department.

The algorithms of the same AI applications that the US authorities use to sift through their own foreign payment transactions at SWIFT's US headquarters in Culpeper were then unleashed on these data volumes from Europe. The results were then also sent to the customer, Europol, and in some cases also to national authorities in the EU area.

That was the state of affairs until November 2020, and even the PCLOB, as the responsible supervisory authority, was not yet aware that copies of these massive amounts of data from Europe had been sent to the Central Intelligence Agency since 2016 at the latest.

The entire SWIFT system processes 40 million transactions every day, but these are not individual transfers but bulk interbank accounts that include all individual transfers of funds or securities.

At the end of January 2022, under pressure from two senators, the CIA had to publish a series of documents on data mining in these data sets.

The CIA stated that it used this data not only to search for terrorists, but also for other purposes, using data mining methods. In the TFTP agreement between the US and the EU, both are expressly prohibited. According to the text of the contract, it is already illegal for the US Treasury Department to pass on EU data sets to other authorities.This CIA data mining program was also smuggled past all control bodies of the ‘Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’ (FISA). 


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Keywords: data, SWIFT, financial data, transactions , data breaches
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: CIA, Europol, SWIFT, US Treasury
Countries: Europe, United States
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime

CIA

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Europol

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SWIFT

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US Treasury

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