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The Five Eyes (FVEYS)

Ever wonder why we often get caught up in worrying about how the US snoops on their public? Well if it is common practice for them you can bet we do it in the UK

The secret group, also known as Five Eyes, collects and analyses data from electronic networks around the world for the benefit of exchange between member countries.

THE FIVE EYES - This map shows each countries regional responsibilities. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

THE FIVE EYES – This map shows each countries regional responsibilities. – CLICK TO ENLARGE

Beginning in 1946, an alliance of five English-speaking countries (the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) developed a series of bilateral agreements over more than a decade that became known as the UKUSA agreement, establishing the Five Eyes alliance for the purpose of sharing intelligence, primarily signals intelligence (SIGINT).

• While almost 70 years old, the arrangement is so secretive that the Australian prime minister reportedly wasn’t informed of its existence until 1973 and no government officially acknowledged the arrangement by name until 1999.

• Under the agreement interception, collection, acquisition, analysis, and decryption is conducted by each of the State parties in their respective parts of the globe, and all intelligence information is shared by default.

• The agreement is wide in scope and establishes jointly-run operations centres where operatives from multiple intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes States work alongside each other.

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Together the Five Eyes are collaborated and developed specific technical programmes of collection and analysis. Some examples include:

ECHELON: a system that collects and processes information derived from intercepting civil satellite communications

THINTHREAD: an analysis tool that creates graphs showing relationships and patters that can tell analysis which targets they should look at and which calls they should listen to

TEMPORA: a programme that collects intelligence via undersea fibre optic cable taps

XKEYSCORE: an analytic framework that indexes email addresses, file names, IP addresses, cookies, phone numbers and metadata, and enables a single search to query a three-day rolling buffer of all unfiltered data stored at 150 global sites

In the Der Spiegel interview, Snowden was asked what major programmes were active today and how international partners aided the NSA. He replied:

“The partners in the ‘Five Eyes’ sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves.” He cited the Tempora programme headed by Britain’s Government Communication Headquarters as an example, saying it “sucks” all kinds of information.”

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