Transatlantic Politics of Data Transfer: Extraterritoriality, Counter-Extraterritoriality and Counter-Terrorism


  • I would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers and the editor of JCMS for their helpful comments. I am also heartily thankful to David Wessels and Yuichi Morii, who were kind enough to read my manuscript. The research for this article was furthered by a grant from the Telecommunications Advancement Foundation (Japan). An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2011 Annual Convention of the Japan Association of International Relations. I am grateful to Kazuto Suzuki, Yukio Maeda and other participants in the session.


Yuko Suda

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

3-11-1 Asahi-cho

Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-8534




Transatlantic co-operation and conflict over air passenger information, financial transactions records and maritime container security illustrate the European Union's reaction to the transboundary assertion of US counter-terrorism regulation in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11. A close examination of the cases suggests that the EU–US agreements on the transfer and use of PNR and SWIFT data were made to safeguard the integrity of the EU data protection regime and more importantly the European norm of data privacy from the undermining effects that might arise from the extraterritorial exercise of authority by the United States.