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Commission says SWIFT outside its field of action

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Commission says SWIFT outside its field of action

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The fallout has not yet settled over reported CIA prisoner renditions in the EU… now comes the controversy over SWIFT — the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications.

The United States Treasury Department has defended its actions as vital; it admits it has been tapping into SWIFT’s records for evidence of potential terrorism-related activity.

A spokesman for the European Commission said it did not appear that the European Union’s executive body had any power to look into the matter.

Belgium’s government is investigating after it learned of the searches from the media.

SWIFT is owned and controlled by nearly 8,000 commercial banks in 20 countries. The U.S. compelled it to supply information on wire transfers and cash movements.