BRUSSELS, June 27 — A human rights group in London said today that it had lodged formal complaints in 32 countries against the Brussels-based banking consortium known as Swift, contending that it violated European and Asian data protection rules by providing the United States with confidential information about international money transfers.
Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, said the organization filed the complaints in the hope of halting what it called “illegal transfers” of private information by Swift, whose full name is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications.
The complaints were filed in all 25 member nations of the European Union, plus Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland. The group said it also filed a complaint in the semiautonomous Chinese territory of Hong Kong.
“Swift appears to have violated data protection rules in Europe by making these transfers without the consent of the individuals involved, and without the approval of European judicial or administrative authorities,” Mr. Davies said. “The scale of the operation, involving millions of records, places this disclosure in the realm of a fishing exercise rather than a legally authorized investigation.”
Thanks for nothing, NYT.
Hat tip: AJ Strata
Update II: Is the terrorist finance tracking program over?
Update III: Allah reports that the House vote on condemning the NYT will take place tomorrow.