One week ago, we reported, with little surprise, that just days after last Friday's terrorist attack, the European Commission had "implemented strict controls to make it difficult to acquire firearms."
This followed our take from two months ago, predicting with uncanny accuracy the events of November 13, when we said that "as the need to ratchet up the fear factor grows, expect more such reports of asylum seekers who have penetrated deep inside Europe, and whose intentions are to terrorize the public. Expect a few explosions thrown in for good effect" and we added that "since everyone knows by now "not to let a crisis go to waste" the one thing Europe needs is a visceral, tangible crisis, ideally with chilling explosions and innocent casualties. We expect one will be provided on short notice."
We concluded by saying that one should "certainly expect a version of Europe'a Patriot Act to emerge over the next year, when the old continent has its own "September 11" moment, one which will provide the unelected Brussels bureaucrats with even more authoritarian power."
To be sure, the European crackdown on weapons, if only for those who wish to acquire them legally, took even us by surprise: not even we expected such a fast turnaround.
And now that the latest European powergrab has been unleashed "in response to the terrorist threat", of course, just like the US Patriot Act, the time has come to crack down on all other aspects of personal privacy, starting with financial transactions.
On Friday, we previously reported that "Europe Cracks Down On Bitcoin, Virtual Currencies To "Curb Terrorism Funding."
That was the appetizer because today we read, again with little surprise, that "as part of a push to clamp down on the financing of militant groups" French Finance Minister Michel Sapin European said that authorities need to be able to tap into data from the SWIFT bank payments network.
Actually, no. What authorities should do is find out which Swiss and Dutch trading houses are helping the ISIS oil smugglers deliver their oil to the open market, especially since as we reported previously, they already know all the "third parties" involved in this illegal terrorism-funding activity. Of course, this avenue is blocked since pursuing it would reveal just who at the pinnacles of European bureaucratic (and banking) power benefits the most from closing their eyes to the ISIS oil smuggling trade.
Instead, Europe would much rather just have access to the entire pipe of financial transaction data, which of course is precisely what the Patriot Act spawned in the US. In other words, just like the US in the aftermath of 9/11, so too Europe has decided to not let this "crisis" go to waste and is quietly unleashing the biggest expansion of the government appartus in European history.
More from Reuters:
Sapin said that the SWIFT system had two computer servers, one in Europe and one in the United States, but that Europe currently relied on U.S. authorities to collect and analyze the vast amounts of data flowing through it to detect security issues.
"We Europeans don't have the capacity to exploit our own data. I don't think this can carry on this way," Sapin told a news conference. "Since we do not have the means to analyze the data located in Europe, we transfer all of this data to the Americans, who have the capacity to analyze it."
Efforts to curb financing of militant groups have intensified since the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 by Islamic State-backed gunmen and bombers.
Belgian-based SWIFT, or Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, operates services transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.
SWIFT says on its website that it is subject to binding requests to provide the U.S. Treasury with data from its European server "for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of terrorism or terrorist financing".
And just like that another prediction has come true: first came the crack down on weapons, and now the crack down on all financial transactions. Next: the NSA opens a European branch to make sure that just like their American peers, everything Europeans do will be forever recorded in some massive database for eternity. Why? "To fight terrorism."