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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Privacy commissioners asked to investigate US Government bank prying

The US Government’s apparent monitoring of international banking transactions conducted through the Belgian based SWIFT, is still running strongly. (See our item two below).

Privacy International, based in the UK has sent a letter to privacy commissioners in 33 countries, including Australia, asking for investigation whether the US may have breached national privacy laws by monitoriing international banking transactions of their nationals.

The Canadian Privacy Commissioner is considering an investigation. “Obviously this is something we can't ignore. We are looking into the matter, though the extent to which we get involved has yet to be determined,” said Anne-Marie Hayden, a spokesperson for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Not a peep so far on the Federal Privacy Commissioner’s website.

The Belgian Government is now to investigate what's been going on: "We need to ask what are the legal frontiers in this case and whether it is right that a U.S. civil servant could look at private transactions without the approval of a Belgian judge," government spokesman Didier Seus said Monday.

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