The Five Eyes intelligence alliance is a secretive coalition and surveillance arrangement of countries internationally. The alliance include the United States National Security Agency (NSA), Canada’s Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).
A series of bilateral agreements were developed in 1946 By an alliance of five English-speaking countries. Over the period of time it became to known as the UKUSA agreement. This agreement established the Five Eyes alliance to share intelligence especially signals intelligence (SIGINT).
For over 70 years, these five countries are known to be in global surveillance. Spying on the communications all over the world and build an infrastructure to master the internet for surveillance.
What does the Five Eyes Agreement States?
The agreements amongst the Five countries are not known despite being 70 years old. A very little information about the agreements between the Five Eyes countries is present. Also, limited information about what exactly the arrangement comprises the services themselves.
There has been a minimum appreciation for the extent of the arrangement within the governments of the five countries, which the intelligence agencies are meant to serve. The arrangement is so secretive that the Prime Minister of Australia was not informed of its reality until 1973. It was not acknowledged officially by the government by its name until 1999. Yet, only a few documents have been released that discuss the surveillance by the Five Eyes.
The agreement states that interception, collection, analysis, acquisition, and decryption practiced by the individual country within their territory and all intelligence information are shared by default.
The scope of the agreement is wide and jointly-run operation centers are established under the agreement where operatives from a number of intelligence agencies of the states from the Five Eyes work alongside each other.
To ensure that the Five Eyes alliance is more than just a set of collaboration principles, tasks are divided between SIGNIT agencies. The national product becomes so impossible to differentiate when the level of cooperation is complete.
Level of Collaboration between the Five Eyes?
Specific technical programs of collection and analysis were developed and collaborated by the Five Eyes.
A senior member of Britain’s Intelligence Community said: “When you get a GCHQ pass it gives you access to the NSA too. You can walk into the NSA and find GCHQ staff holding senior management positions, and vice versa”
“When the NSA has a piece of intelligence, it will very often ask GCHQ for a second opinion. There have been ups and downs over the years, of course. But in general, the NSA and GCHQ are extremely close allies. They rely on each other.”
Recent documents revealed by Edward Snowden show the close alliance between the Five countries. The classification “TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL” or “TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, FVEY” included in almost all documents. \
The classification markings specify that the stuff is top-secret communications intelligence (aka SIGNIT) material which can be given out to Australia, Canada, US, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
The main objective of REL TO is to recognize the information that has been classified which a party has already determined to be released through established foreign disclosure channels and methods, to an international organization or a foreign country.
Under the UKUSA agreement, the level of co-operation is so complete that the national product usually becomes hard to differentiate.
The Former British Spy said: “Cooperation between the two countries, particularly, in SIGINT, is so close that it becomes very difficult to know who is doing what […] it’s just organizational mess.”
There is no embargo despite rumors of a “no-spy pact” on gathering the intelligence from the citizens of Five Eyes countries. There is a common understanding that the residents will not be targeted directly and where communications can be intercepted incidentally there will be an effort to lessen the employment and analysis of these communications by the intercepting state.
Other Intelligence Alliances
After seeing the potential outcome of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance. More countries lined up to be in a pact with the rest of the Five Eyes to form, Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes Intelligence Alliance, respectively.
Nine Eyes Intelligence Alliance
The Nine Eyes nations incorporate the majority of the past Five Eyes nations in addition to:
The presence of the Nine Eyes Alliance is referenced in Wikipedia and different sources on the web. It is only an expansion of the Five Eyes collusion with comparative participation to gather and offer mass reconnaissance information.
Fourteen Eyes Intelligence Alliance
The 14 Eyes intelligence alliance nations incorporate the majority of the past Nine Eyes nations in addition to:
These nations received the original surveillance agreement. SIGNT Senior Europe is the official name of this alliance. There are several other intelligence alliances:
- 41 Eyes: includes all of the above with the allied coalition in Afghanistan.
- Tier B countries with which the Five Eyes have “focused cooperation” on the network exploitation of the computer. The countries include Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungry, Germany, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Luxembourg, Netherland, Poland, Spain, South Korea, Portugal, Turkey, Switzerland, and Sweden.
- Club of Berne: 17 members excluding the US and including primarily European states.
- The Counter Terrorist Group: It is a broad membership that includes the 17 European States of Club of Berne and also includes the US.
- NATO Special Committee: it comprises the head of the security services of member countries of NATO.
Stay Aware of Intelligence Alliances
In case you’re among the general population profoundly worried about their online protection, this is an essential inquiry. It’s protected to state that the exercises of the intelligence agencies inside these coalitions are designed for more than basically guarding residents in their nations.
Among Edward Snowden’s most stunning disclosures was NSA’s PRISM program. This was a mass information gathering program that included legitimate worldwide associations including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
PRISM made it unbelievably simple for NSA data analysts (even low-positioning ones). To get to client data on prevalent stages. This basically means different nations could use this capacity on account of the unions. Regardless of whether you trust that you don’t have anything to cover up or fear, realizing that the NSA and its partners can listen in on your Skype or Facebook discussions is disrupting.
Intelligence agencies are famous for utilizing underhand strategies. For example, hacking encryption algorithms and paying the web security organizations to weaken their frameworks to encourage surveillance.
Without a doubt, the basic role of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes partnerships probably won’t be to keep an eye on ordinary citizens. In any case, intelligence sharing coalitions give excessive power to the agencies.
To fight against terrorism. The ongoing war on terror since 2001 has led the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes to expand their surveillance activities. They have a greater focus on monitoring the World Wide Web. Edward Snowden, described FVEY as a supra-national intelligence alliance that do not respond to its own country’s law.
Edward Snowden disclosed documents in 2013, which showed that these Five States have been involved in spying. All of them spied one another’s citizens and share the gathered details with each other to evade restrictive domestic regulations on the citizen’s surveillance.
Even after the disclosures of Snowden, Professionals of intelligence community believe that nothing can affect the coalition of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes. They are famous as the most comprehensive intelligence alliance in history.