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Parliamentary questions
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4 February 2011
E-011200/2010(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-011200/2010

The Commission is of the opinion that there is no evidence which would suggest that the activities carried out by WikiLeaks (The Sunshine Press) constitute ‘conduct pertaining to terrorism or terrorist financing’ as defined in Article 2 of the EU‑U.S. TFTP Agreement. Consequently, data provided under the EU‑US TFTP Agreement may not be used to track Europeans who donate money to WikiLeaks.

The EU‑U.S. TFTP Agreement contains a number of safeguards which limit the scope of the U.S. requests to obtain data from designated providers to cases aiming at prevention, investigation, detection, or prosecution of terrorism or terrorist financing.

Under the Agreement, Article 4(2) and (4), Europol assesses whether the data requested in any given case are necessary for the fight against terrorism and its financing. Europol also verifies that each and every request is tailored as narrowly as possible in order to minimise the amount of data requested. If a request for data does not meet these conditions, no data can be transferred under the Agreement.

In addition, Article 5(2) limits the processing of provided data exclusively to the prevention, investigation, detection, or prosecution of terrorism or its financing and prevents data mining or any other automated profiling or computer filtering.

Finally, Article 12 of the Agreement provides for the Commission to appoint an EU overseer, namely a person who shall oversee the day-to-day extraction of and access to data from the TFTP database. An important part of the role of the EU overseer is to verify whether the searches made against the data transmitted under the TFTP Agreement have a sufficient nexus with terrorism investigations. This person has the power to query and even block searches if it appears that there is not sufficient evidence to justify a search against an identified person or an entity.

OJ C 279 E, 23/09/2011
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