Photo Gallery NSA Spying on Credit Card and Bank Transactions

The US intelligence agency NSA monitors the activities of banks and credit card companies -- often in violation of national laws and global regulations. The European SWIFT financial transaction network is a major target of spying, internal NSA documents show.
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This internal NSA presentation from 2010 offers an extensive and detailed description of how the agency searched for possible points of access in the complex network that the credit card company Visa uses to process its transactions -- and were allegedly successful in penetrating the company's network.

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The most politically explosive revelations, though, concern the agency's secret access to the SWIFT networks. Following extensive debates, in 2010 the European Union signed the so-called SWIFT agreement with the US. But NSA documents from the archive of whistleblower Edward Snowden now show that the compromise is apparently being circumvented by the US. A document from the year 2011 clearly designates the SWIFT computer network as a "target."

Foto: CHRISTIAN WEIDEMANN/ AP