The European Parliament has blocked a key agreement that allows the United States to monitor Europeans' bank transactions - angering Washington.
I'm sure the nanotech engineers are currently working on the world's tiniest violin.
The US started accessing Swift data after the 11 September 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington.
But the fact that the US was secretly accessing such data did not come to light until 2006.
My fear is not that this data mining was used to track terrorists; far from it. I'm inclined to believe that this monitoring was used for other purposes. Purposes such as finding and prosecuting tax cheats. That, in itself, isn't a bad thing either. My belief is that the only tax cheats that will be prosecuted will be the ones who failed to line the campaign coffers of our elected officials; the ones who've paid off the right people will continue to get away with whatever it is they're getting away with.
Swift handles millions of transactions daily between banks and other financial institutions worldwide. It holds the data of some 8,000 banks and operates in 200 countries.