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back to article Euro Parliament axes data sharing with US – the NSA swiped the bytes anyway

The European Parliament has voted to halt the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP), an agreement to share data on financial transactions in the Continent with the US – after documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed the NSA was hacking the system anyway. "Parliament stresses that any data-sharing agreement with the US must …

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Anonymous Coward

NSA unofficial motto.

In God we trust. Everyone else gets intercepted.

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"In God we trust. Everyone else gets intercepted."

Oh yeah?

There's probably NSA agents in the Vatican right now, trying to figure out out how to get taps into Heaven and Hell.

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Re: "Everyone ... gets intercepted"

Utterly, utterly useless.

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Anonymous Coward

'Perhaps the NSA simply just doesn't trust its friends in Europe. '

The NSA has friends? I wonder if J Edgar Hoover had many in his day...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Perhaps the NSA simply just doesn't trust its friends in Europe. '

Only the ones who gave him his dresses.

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g e
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Holmes

Re: 'Perhaps the NSA simply just doesn't trust its friends in Europe. '

Not as little as its 'friends in Europe' trusts them.

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Re: 'Perhaps the NSA simply just doesn't trust its friends in Europe. '

It doesn't have any friends in Europe, just foreign targets.

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A Key Problem

'Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee' Any committee that is based on intelligence is doomed to fail if its leadership does not display measurable intelligence.

That old bat is either incredibly stupid or crazy, or both. The things that come out of her mouth are so consistently wrong it is impressive. I don't mean 'wrong' as in I disagree with her policies, I mean 'wrong' as in water isn't wet or the sky isn't blue wrong: Factually incorrect to the point it invalidates everything else she says. Basing committee appointments on seniority is a terribly dumb way to manage a government, you end up with crap like this.

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Re: A Key Problem

... the sky isn't blue wrong

I don't know where you live, but if I look out of the window, the sky looks rather greyish white.

Otherwise I agree.

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Happy

Re: A Key Problem

That's actually accumulated moisture you're seeing, the sky behind it is still blue :)

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Joke

Re: A Key Problem

The sky isn't actually blue either I'm afraid.

It's typical composition scatters blue light more than others. A change in the composition of the atmosphere will change the colour.

"Sunlight reaches Earth's atmosphere and is scattered in all directions by all the gases and particles in the air. Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth's atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time."

In other news, light bulbs don't work by magic and the internet runs on swiss cheese. Oh and Father Christmas is just the local homeless guy dressed up, that's why he smells of piss and Special Brew.

[:news brought to you by the killjoy foundation for kids]

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Unhappy

Re: A Key Problem

"Basing committee appointments on seniority is a terribly dumb way to manage a government, you end up with crap like this."

IIRC the US also favors committee membership with vested interests on the ground they will know something about the subject.

What could possibly go wrong with such staffing policies?

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WTF?

Re: A Key Problem @ Sir Runcible Spoon

Wait, water is still wet though, right?

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: A Key Problem

killjoy foundation for kids...I need a new keyboard after that.

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Happy

Re: A Key Problem @ Sir Runcible Spoon

"Wait, water is still wet though, right?"

Well, I had to double check to be honest. It turns out that it is our senses that provide 'wetness' feedback - so it's not really objective to say that water is wet, but I felt I was sticking my head above the parapet far enough as it was :)

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Happy

Re: A Key Problem @ Sir Runcible Spoon

You are correct on both counts Sir killjoy Spoon. The 'wetness' of water can also be modified with the addition of additives, so you can have 'dry' water as well as 'wetter' water too :)

However, I doubt the esteemed Senator would dare venture into the actual reasons for any given thing. Discovering valid information would certainly break the spell that keeps her body animated and she would instantly wither and blow away if she were exposed to such things.

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Re: A Key Problem

Vested interests play a role, as do party contributions. The total amount of funds you raise on behalf of your party has a direct impact on the committees you get on. Raise more money, get seats on more commissions, and you are instantly rewarded with an increase in contributions.

The actual pay raise itself from committee seats isn't too big, but the chair of any given committee sees a near quadrupling in their annual fundraising. While they no longer get to pocket part of those proceeds, it sure does make their 'campaigning' a lot nicer. You don't have to mix with the proles, as you travel by private plane and your car and its driver get upgraded too. It's all nasty shit really.

The internal workings of Congress are by far the most complex factor in US politics. It's murky, dirty and 'we the people' aren't privy to the actual goings-on. The actual operational details are shrouded by laws that are intended to 'allow the body to operate without undue influence from outside' but simply result in backroom scheming and horse trading on the backs of the people.

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Re: A Key Problem

@Don Jefe

One might argue that the real pay rise comes when they leave office and join industry bodies and lobby groups as 'advisors' and, latter, direct lobbyists.

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Anonymous Coward

US has simply gone rogue.

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Anonymous Coward

For them to have ever been anything other than rogue, they would have had to first regard someone else as their equal. I don't recall a time of that ever happening - unless you count the ex-USSR in, but they definitely were never partners...

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side note

I wonder who else noticed the superposition in "The European Parliament has voted ... The resolution is non-binding, however, since only the European Commission can bind member nations to the decision" Well, of course European Commission is unelectable. I guess they probably do not share concerns expressed by the Parliament .

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Anonymous Coward

Re: side note

COM, EP & Council form a trilogue. Council you've already voted for as they are your Dear Leaders (the 28MS). EP you do get to vote for, and next summer the EP will (for the first time) be doing a lot of scrutiny of the likely successors to Barroso et al at 'neutral' COM. It's admittedly a bit novel, and well 'European', but I think the triple executive is finally starting to work! We certainly don't necessarily share views or always agree with EP or Council. Eventually we reach a best applicable compromise, in the interests of the EU Citizen.

Back to the NSA, was Frau Merkel's metadata & content *worth* potentially losing ttfp, swift, eu-usa trade & cloud business due to blowback?

I for one welcomed the idea of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) being added to every eu/uk foodstuff.....

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Unelected but why?

We Brits should remember the European Commission is unelected at the insistence - primarily - of the UK government. The same people who have succeeded in getting Europe run from a smoke filled room. Any Tory politico mouthing about the democratic deficit in Brussels is ranting about something he worked very hard for ...

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Re: side note

They eventually reach the compromise that suits the EU burocracy, not necessarily the citizen.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: side note

"Back to the NSA, was Frau Merkel's metadata & content *worth* potentially losing ttfp, swift, eu-usa trade & cloud business due to blowback?"

Clearly it was, because if you're doing something like that you have to weigh the consequences of the short term benefits against the longer term raised probablility of being discovered. But you use the term "worth", and I think you're on the right track there, that the benefits were tracked as "financial value in dollars" and the risks as "potential embarassment and need for insincere denial". Even the comment that they aren't now and won't monitor Merkel's phone doesn't mean "we won't get a poodle to do it for us in future".

But the interesting aspect of this is that it shows so clearly that the NSA's global spying isn't about terrorism - they've not had many successes that we the public can see, in the same way that GCHQ in the UK have achieved little, but Germany isn't a global interventionist, nor terrorist havem, not failed state, nor a political or military threat. So the only reason for intercepting her phone (and undoubtedly those of German ministers and civil servants, and other European countries) is for economic intelligence.

Put more simply, the Yanks (and the Brits as their spy-dog poodle) have been collecting intellgence to advance American business interests, although I'm fairly sure that the UK government isn't organised or smart enough to use any intelligence in GCHQ's hands to help British business). The pained expression on Cameron's shiny, over-fed face, and his silence over the Merkelgate affair tell the whole story about who actually did the dirty deed.

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Re: side note

"...in the interests of the EU Citizen."

You are joking aren't you?

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Re: side note

" Germany isn't a [...] nor terrorist haven"

Hamburg cell.

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Roo
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Re: side note

"Back to the NSA, was Frau Merkel's metadata & content *worth* potentially losing ttfp, swift, eu-usa trade & cloud business due to blowback?"

Given that the EU don't seem to know exactly how the NSA got hold of that info in the first place it seems very probable that the flow of data to the NSA is still happening, so I doubt they give a flying toss at a rolling donut.

"I for one welcomed the idea of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) being added to every eu/uk foodstuff....."

I don't welcome people welcoming corn syrup in everything. Do you really want bread that tastes like a Rich Tea biscuits, I'd prefer to have the choice not to have the humble slice of bread wreck my bacon sandwiches.

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Cheer leader

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee and NSA cheerleader,

Let's hope she is never allowed to cheerlead in a Ra-Ra skirt, jump up and down and do the splits.

Urgghh! the thought has put me off my tea!

As for the damned Uropeens withdrawing their support for the TFTP, well that's why they spy on them.

They can't be trusted and now they'll have to be spied on more. Another couple of billion in the budget please!

Thank you very much.

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Just about fucking time!

The evidence that the USA is using terrorism as an excuse for waging a total information and economic war against the rest of the world, allies included, is quite overwhelming. Kudos for the European Parliament for taking measures against this, at last.

Of course, there is a very definite risk that the USA will 'allow' - or even promote- a terrorist attack on European soil, to soften the public opinion and regain control. If that happens, I hope European citizens understand that one of the costs of being free is accepting risks.

Please, Americans, clean your own house before things get really nasty.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just about fucking time!

Of course, there is a very definite risk that the USA will 'allow' - or even promote- a terrorist attack on European soil, you just forgot to end that sentence with the word "again"

As CIA encouraged/trained/paid-for all the stay-behind armies from the fifties to the eighties - with many deaths. The recently re-elected Luxembourg state security even managed to detonate 22 bombs, thankfully without loss of life in that case, and they supposedly still refuse to disband their Gladio army as the correct codeword hasn't been given?

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THE YANKS..

are paranoid about everybody including themsleves

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Happy

HILARIOUS....

....They're hacking each other into a Stalemate....

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Don't the American people realize:-

"These stupid assholes are making 9-11 more and more damaging to America every day, and giving Bin Laden the last laugh!"

So bloody stupid if you ask me, but then nobody will.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't the American people realize:-

Bin Laden was a CIA operative that put in place the environment for such mass spying. Nobody asked me to say that either ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Hopefully these easy extradition agreements will get torn up.

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Doesn't sounds as if this development will have much effect on the NSA's ability to collect data: It will just no longer be getting it with permission.

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You can never really trust governments that sell their people down the road, can you?

Maybe that's why the NSA don't trust the EU?

None who live in it do either!

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Psychology 101

"Maybe that's why the NSA don't trust the EU?"

They don't trust the EU (or anyone else) because they know themselves to be untrustworthy.

All you need to do to understand someone's base motivations and fears is to listen to what they say of others.

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One wonders, therefore, why the NSA bothered hacking it in the first place.

Because they could? It's pretty apparent at this point that the NSA's only oversight is a man who always says yes.

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"It's pretty apparent at this point that the NSA's only oversight is the man from DelMonte"

Fixed that for you ;)

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Black Helicopters

So...

They shared private data with Uncle Sam

They didn't expect to be hacked

They were hacked

Now its not OK to share private data with Uncle Sam

???

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Re: So...

Let's say, for example, that you have a trusting relationship with your partner.

You both agree to tell each other the truth, and not to hide anything pertinent from the other.

When one day you find out that even though you've been honest and scrupulous in this regard your partner has been tapping your phones lines, hacking your computer, reading your texts, listening to your voice-mail and keeping tabs on everyone you come in to contact with.

I've just realised that I have implied that the EU is honest and scrupulous, but you get the idea I'm sure.

My main gripe with the US is that the fucking spell checkers don't recognizse English words..

Colour

Recognise

Friend

Honour

Neighbour

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

First, you need a spelling checker.

Then load a "British English" dictionary.

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Re: So...

point 1 - noted

point 2 - if you can tell me how to do that in El Reg's comment section I'd be much obliged.

point 3 - not sure if you missed the point

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Re: So...

It's English dammit - from England! Calling it "British English" is just arrogant.

If the Yanks want to mess up the language at least they could have the decency to call it 'American'

/rant - need another beer!

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European Parliament seems to have started to grow some balls.

Whatever next?

Interesting times perhaps?

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Re: European Parliament seems to have started to grow some balls.

"Interesting times perhaps?"

Not at all. All they've said is "We're really, really cross about this". Had EU leaders grown some, they would have cancelled the forthcoming trade talks as a symbol of their anger, as a marker of unwillingess to be reated like sh**, and because any economic talks will be on an uneven playing field given the incessant political data scraping of the NSA.

The other thing they should have done would have been to have announced that Europe was open to, and would welcome Edward Snowden, with guarantees of immunity against prosecution, exrtadition, or rendition. Now THAT would be the way to show Washington that their behaviour won't be tolerated.

But that's all a bit radical for Europeans.

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Unhappy

Is anyone botherd by NSA being able to hack SWIFT?

Because that implies that they can change funds transfer instructions at will.

Of course with the "strong" oversight provided by FISA that could never happen, at least without senior approval.

Right?

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