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Brussels, 27 August 2010

Statement by Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, on the Commission’s appointment of the interim independent overseer under the EU-US TFTP agreement

“I am very pleased to announce that the European Commission has now appointed an interim independent overseer of Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme searches. This person is responsible on an interim basis for the oversight and monitoring of financial payment messaging and related data, which are necessary for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection, or prosecution of terrorism or terrorist financing,” said Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner in charge of Home Affairs."

"Under the agreement between the European Union and the US on the processing and transfer of financial messaging data from the EU to the US for the purposes of fighting terrorism, which took effect on 1 August 2010, the overseer is in charge of scrupulously monitoring the data searches to ensure that they are strictly limited to counter-terrorism purposes and that citizens’ privacy and data are protected.

The designated interim independent overseer, who is based in Washington, has now started monitoring the TFTP searches.

The appointment of a permanent independent EU overseer is in preparation and will be carried out with the most urgency, in accordance with Article 12 of the agreement."

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