The “Five Eyes” (FVEY) is an intel alliance that unifies elements of the national alphabet agencies of theunited Kingdom, the United States, Australia, canada and New Zealand and their intel gathering infrastructures.
The origins of the FVEY can be traced to the closing months of World War II when the Atlantic Charter was issued by the Allies to lay out their “goals” for a post-war world.
Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)
The espionage alliance was conceived in order to deliver trans- jurisdictional coordination andcooperation for signals intelligence (SIGINT) but has expanded into many other areas especially in the last 20 years and most aggressively since the beginning of the vaguely defined parameters of the ” War on Terror “.
Not just a reactive program it is specifically proactive. The FVEY can count in many thousands theirdeployment of various rootkit hacks, backdoors , trojans , worms , spyware , malware , keystroke logging, PGP private key reversal and voice comms undermining projects. It has an eye watering arsenal of BH tactics at its disposal. Take a peak at a tiny subset of them here .
GEMALTO & Public Scrutiny
It is and will remain the most pervasive, extensive, expansive and secretive (independent and to the large part unregulated) espionage alliance in history.
The ECHELON Program
During the course of the Cold War, the ECHELON surveillance system was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the USSR and European countries on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.
In the late 1990s, the existence of ECHELON was disclosed and triggered a major debate in brusselsand to a lesser extent in Congress. As part of efforts in the ongoing, vaguely defined, War on Terror since 2001, the FVEY further expanded their surveillance capabilities.
The bulk of the current focus is placed on monitoring digital comms across the internet backbones and much if not all of the cables delivering the service have FVEY listeners at the receiving stations and national termination points and not just in the member countries.
The current face-off between the US and china in South East asia – aside from the sabre rattling over the Paracel & Spratly issue and Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea – is who will get to deliver and therefore control the internet backbone to Cambodia, terminating in Sihanoukville.
That cable will service the needs of the region (Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and unofficially parts of China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore)
NSA whistleblower / traitor (depending on your viewpoint) edward snowden described the Five Eyes as asupranational intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the known laws of its own countries”.
Snowden’s leaks revealed that the alliance were spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on surveillance of sovereign nations’ citizens in “peace time”.
Again the definition of “peace time” and its current status is in the eye of the beholder so to speak.
The Main Surveillance Programs
The main surveillance programs jointly operated by the Five Eyes are:
- PRISM – Operated by the NSA together with the GCHQ and the ASD
- XKEYSCORE – Operated by the NSA with contributions from the ASD and the GCSB
- Tempora – Operated by the GCHQ with contributions from the NSA
- MUSCULAR – Operated by the GCHQ and the NSA
- STATEROOM – Operated by the ASD, CIA , csec , GCHQ, and NSA