NSA Successfully Figured Out How to Tap Into VISA’s ‘Complex Transaction Network’

By: Sunday September 15, 2013 12:00 pm

While The Guardian has published the most scoops from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, has posted its share of revelations from documents Snowden took with him from the NSA. The latest story shows the NSA managed to figure out how to infiltrate and search records of international VISA credit card customers.


EU Votes to Suspend U.S. Data Sharing Agreements Over NSA Scandal

By: Thursday July 4, 2013 10:45 am

The fallout from the NSA spying scandal may be just beginning as the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution that would back the European Commission if it decides to suspend data sharing agreements with the U.S.

“SWIFT” Boating the Russian Mafia

By: Monday June 27, 2011 6:30 pm

The US has had the potential capability to track Russian mobsters since SWIFT let us access the databases after 9/11, particularly now that we’re making all our specific requests orally. So far as I know, no one has ended up dead in a duffel bag over that access.

What the State Dept. Wanted Withheld from WikiLeaks Publication

By: Saturday January 29, 2011 9:16 am

There are now four versions of the cooperation between Wikileaks and its journalistic “partners:” Vanity Fair, NYT, Guardian, and Spiegel. A comparison of them is more instructive than reading any in isolation.

Vampire Squid Pissy about Response to Data Octopus Demands

By: Monday November 29, 2010 4:20 pm

After the Lisbon Treaty went into effect last year, the EU Parliament balked at giving Americans free run of the SWIFT database. The EU and US put an interim agreement in place. Which the EU Parliament then overturned in February. The US then granted EU citizens privacy protections Americans don’t have. But then the US started negotiating unilateral agreements with countries, using the Visa Waiver as blackmail to force individual countries into submission (and, some in Europe suggested, drumming up a terrorist threat to add to the pressure). One of the cables from yesterday’s WikiLeaks dump offers a window into the US perspective on the negotiation, in a cable from the US Embassy to Germany to the Secretary of State’s Office. The cable speaks disparagingly of the FDP while revealing bankster hypocrisy.

The American Data Octopus: US Pressures Europe for More Access to Its Info

By: Friday October 8, 2010 6:10 am

Data octopus. That’s how one European Parliament official described the US’ continued grab for unfettered access to more and more European data.

Obama Administration Grants Europeans Rights Americans Don’t Have

By: Thursday July 8, 2010 2:18 pm

You know what happens when your elected representatives fight for your privacy? Counterterrorism investigators actually grant you some!

EU Won’t Hand Over Their Data

By: Saturday May 8, 2010 1:30 pm

Last year and in February, we watched as the EU balked at US demands for data-sharing under the SWIFT program. The Belgian cooperative in charge of the international money transfer database moved its servers to the EU, but the US still wanted the same access it had had when the servers were in the US. The US had tried to push through a last-minute deal before EU Parliament changed hands last year, but the Parliament rejected that deal. So now the EU is trying to decide what kind of data-sharing they’ll have with the US.

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