Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Canadian Commissioner investigates whether Canadian banking records were reviewed by the CIA

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is investigating whether banking records of Canadians were reviewed by US authorities as part of their sweep of the SWIFT database (for some background: Canadian Privacy Law Blog: US reviews international financial database): | CIA may have accessed Cdn. banking records:

Canada's privacy commissioner is investigating whether United States officials have improperly received the banking records of Canadians.

The Toronto Star reports the investigation is also trying to determine if the Central Intelligence Agency was given unauthorized access to the confidential files.

"This is something we're looking into," Anne-Marie Hayden, spokesperson for the privacy commissioner's office, told the newspaper.

"Any time personal information of Canadians is obtained by a foreign government in circumstances that may not provide the same privacy protections that exist in Canada, we have concerns."

On Tuesday, a human rights group filed formal complaints in 32 countries, including Canada, against a Brussels-based banking consortium for providing the U.S. with confidential information about international money transfers, the International Herald Tribune reported.

The London-based Privacy International alleges the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, has violated rules in numerous jurisdictions by handing over the data....

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