BRUSSELS, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- European lawmakers on Wednesday urged the European Union (EU) to deny United States (U.S.) access to the global banking database, SWIFT, in response to alleged spying activities.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted by 280 to 254 in favor of such a resolution which is non-binding, according to a statement issued by the European Parliament (EP).
The voting was taken following revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) alleged tapping of EU citizens' bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT, said the statement.
The resolution refers to the EU-U.S. Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) agreement, which entered into force in Aug. 2010, on the processing and transfer of bank messaging data, aiming to track terrorists' financial flows.
Recent local media reports in Europe alleged that the U.S. NSA had been tapping into EU citizens' personal financial data handled by SWIFT.
"The U.S. authorities' access to these financial data is strictly limited by the TFTP deal. If proven, such activities would constitute a clear breach of the EU-U.S. agreement," said the EP.
Although the EP has no formal powers to initiate the suspension or termination of an international deal, "the (European) Commission will have to act if Parliament withdraws its support for a particular agreement", said the resolution.
The EP will "take account of the Commission's response to this demand when considering whether to give its consent to future international agreements," it added.
In the statement, MEPs also deplored the fact that no EU member state has investigated these allegations, and urged EU countries to authorize an inquiry by Europol's Cybercrime Centre.
The resolution also calls for a "full on-site technical investigation" of allegations of the U.S. authorities having had unauthorized access to, or having created possible "back doors" into, the SWIFT servers.
The Civil Liberties Committee special inquiry into the mass surveillance of EU citizens should also continue to look into the allegations, said the resolution.
"Any data-sharing agreement with the U.S. must be based on a consistent legal data protection framework, offering legally-binding standards on purpose limitation, data minimization, information, access, correction, erasure and redress," the EP said in the statement.