Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   19 September

European Parliament condemned US intelligence activities


YEREVAN, JULY 4, ARMENPRESS: The European Parliament called on Thursday for the scrapping of two agreements granting the United States access to European financial and travel data unless Washington reveals the extent of its electronic spying operations in Europe, reports “Armenpress”, calling Reuters.

A non-binding resolution, passed by 483 votes to 98 with 65 abstentions, said the United States should come clean about its surveillance of email and communications data or risk seeing the transatlantic information-sharing deals, created in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, torn up.

The parliament cannot revoke the agreements without the support of European Union governments and the bloc's executive Commission, which looks unlikely.

But the vote showed the depth of anger within the assembly over revelations from former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden about U.S. electronic eavesdropping on allies.

Calls from some members of the parliament to suspend talks on a EU-U.S. free trade deal, due to start next week, were rejected, however. The trade deal will be negotiated by the European Commission on behalf of the 28-nation bloc, but the parliament can veto the final agreement, giving it leverage in the talks.

Both data-sharing deals - the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) and Passenger Name Records (PNR) - were struck in the last decade, despite misgivings in parliament that they would grant the United States excessive access to European data.

The TFTP provides the U.S. Treasury with data stored in Europe on international financial transfers. The PNR agreement covers data provided by passengers when booking tickets and checking in on flights, and passes the information to the Department of Homeland Security.




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