Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance


The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.


Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance

The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.

The origins of the FVEY can be traced back to the post–World War II period, when the Atlantic Charter was issued by the Allies to lay out their goals for a post-war world. During the Cold War, the ECHELON surveillance system was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, although it is now used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide.

In the late 1990s, the existence of ECHELON was disclosed to the public, triggering a major debate in the European Parliament and, to a lesser extent, the United States Congress. As part of efforts in the ongoing War on Terror since 2001, the FVEY further expanded their surveillance capabilities, with much emphasis placed on monitoring the World Wide Web. The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden described the Five Eyes as a "supra-national intelligence organization that does not answer to the known laws of its own countries". Documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed that the FVEY have been spying on one another's citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on surveillance of citizens.

Despite continued controversy over its methods, the Five Eyes relationship remains one of the most comprehensive known espionage alliances in history.

Since processed intelligence is gathered from multiple sources, the intelligence shared is not restricted to signals intelligence (SIGINT) and often involves defense intelligence as well as human intelligence (HUMINT) and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). The following table provides an overview of most of the FVEY agencies involved in such forms of data sharing.

The Five Eyes and Their Agencies

Country Agencies & Departments Specialty Areas

Australia

Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

Human intelligence

Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)

Signal intelligence

Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO)

Security intelligence

Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organization (AGO)

Geo intelligence

Defense Intelligence Organization (DIO)

Defense intelligence

Canada

Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFINTCOM)

Defense intelligence, Geo Intelligence

Communications Security Establishment (CSE)

Signal intelligence

Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)

Human intelligence, Security intelligence

New Zealand

Directorate of Defense Intelligence and Security (DDIS)

Defense intelligence

Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)

Signal intelligence

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS)

Human intelligence

United Kingdom

Defense Intelligence (DI)

Defense intelligence

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

Signal intelligence

Security Service (MI5)

Security intelligence

Secret Intelligence Service (MI6, SIS)

Human intelligence

United States

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Human intelligence

Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

Defense intelligence

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Security intelligence

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Geo intelligence

National Security Agency (NSA)

Signal intelligence