Five Eyes

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.[1][2][3]

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 course of 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.[4][5]

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 organisation that does not answer to the known laws of its own countries".[6] 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.[7][8][9][10]

In spite of continued controversy over its methods, the Five Eyes relationship remains one of the most comprehensive known espionage alliances in history.[11]

National Security Agency headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland
NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland, United States
GCHQ, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
CSE, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Since processed intelligence is gathered from multiple sources, the intelligence shared is not restricted to signals intelligence (SIGINT) and often involves defence 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.[1]

Country Agency Abbr Role[1]
 Australia Australian Secret Intelligence Service ASIS Human intelligence
Australian Signals Directorate ASD Signal intelligence
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation ASIO Security intelligence
Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation AGO Geo intelligence
Defence Intelligence Organisation DIO Defence intelligence
 Canada Canadian Forces Intelligence Command CFINTCOM Defence intelligence, Geo Intelligence
Communications Security Establishment CSE Signal intelligence
Canadian Security Intelligence Service CSIS Human intelligence, Security intelligence
 New Zealand Directorate of Defence Intelligence and Security DDIS Defence intelligence
Government Communications Security Bureau GCSB Signal intelligence
New Zealand Security Intelligence Service NZSIS Human intelligence
 United Kingdom Defence Intelligence DI Defence 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
Five Eyes
Official languagesEnglish (de facto)
TypeIntelligence alliance
Contributors Australia
 New Zealand
 United Kingdom
 United States
14 August 1941
17 May 1943


Origins (1940s–1950s)

The cover page of the first version of the secret UKUSA Agreement in 1946, which was disclosed to the public in 2011.

The origins of the Five Eyes alliance can be traced back to the Atlantic Charter, which was issued in August 1941 to lay out the Allied goals for the post-war world. On 17 May 1943, the British–U.S. Communication Intelligence Agreement, also known as the BRUSA Agreement, was signed by the UK and U.S. governments to facilitate co-operation between the U.S. War Department and the British Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS). On 5 March 1946, the secret treaty was formalized as the UKUSA Agreement, which forms the basis for all signal intelligence cooperation between the NSA and the GCHQ to this day.[12][13]

In 1948, the treaty was extended to include Canada, followed by Norway (1952), Denmark (1954), West Germany (1955), Australia (1956), and New Zealand (1956).[13] These countries participated in the alliance as "third parties". By 1955, the formal status of the remaining Five Eyes countries was officially acknowledged in a newer version of the UKUSA Agreement that contained the following statement:

At this time only Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be regarded as UKUSA-collaborating Commonwealth countries.[13]

The "Five Eyes" term has its origins as a shorthand for a "AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/US EYES ONLY" (AUSCANNZUKUS) classification level.[14]

Cold War (1950s–1990s)

During the Cold War, the GCHQ and the NSA shared intelligence on the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and several eastern European countries (known as Exotics).[15] Over the course of several decades, the ECHELON surveillance network was developed to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies.[16]

During the Vietnam War, Australian and New Zealand operators in the Asia-Pacific region worked directly to support the United States, while GCHQ operators stationed in the (then) British colony of Hong Kong were tasked with monitoring North Vietnamese air defence networks.[17][18] During the Falklands War, the British received intelligence data from its FVEY allies such as Australia, as well as from third parties such as Norway and France.[19][20][21] In the aftermath of the Gulf War, a technician of the ASIS was used by SIS to bug Kuwaiti government offices.[20]

In the 1950s, SIS and the CIA jointly orchestrated the overthrow of Iran's Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.[22][23][24][25] In the 1960s, SIS and the CIA jointly orchestrated the assassination of the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba.[26][27][28] In the 1970s, the ASIS and the CIA jointly orchestrated the overthrow of Chile's President Salvador Allende.[29][30][31][32] During the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, SIS and the CIA took part in Operation Yellowbird to rescue dissidents from the Chinese regime.[33]

ECHELON network disclosures (1988–2000)

By the end of the 20th century, the ECHELON surveillance network had evolved into a global system capable of sweeping up massive amounts of private and commercial communications, including telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic. This was done through the interception of communication bearers such as satellite transmission and public switched telephone networks.[34]

The Five Eyes has two types of information collection methods: the PRISM program and the Upstream collection system. The PRISM program gathers user information from technology firms such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, while the Upstream system gathers information directly from the communications of civilians via fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past. In 1988, Duncan Campbell revealed in the New Statesman the existence of ECHELON, an extension of the UKUSA Agreement on global signals intelligence [Sigint]. The story, 'Somebody's listening,' detailed how the eavesdropping operations were not only being employed in the interests of 'national security,' but were regularly abused for corporate espionage in the service of US business interests. The piece passed largely unnoticed outside of journalism circles.[35] In 1996, a detailed description of ECHELON was provided by New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager in a book titled "Secret Power – New Zealand's Role in the International Spy Network", which was cited by the European Parliament in a 1998 report titled "An Appraisal of the Technology of Political Control" (PE 168.184).[36] On 16 March 2000, the Parliament called for a resolution on the Five Eyes and their ECHELON surveillance network, which, if passed, would have called for the "complete dismantling of ECHELON".[37]

Three months later, the Temporary Committee on ECHELON was set up by the European Parliament to investigate the ECHELON surveillance network. However, according to a number of European politicians such as Esko Seppänen of Finland, these investigations were hindered by the European Commission.[38]

In the United States, congressional legislators warned that the ECHELON system could be used to monitor U.S. citizens.[39] On 14 May 2001, the U.S. government cancelled all meetings with the Temporary Committee on ECHELON.[40]

According to a BBC report in May 2001, "the US Government still refuses to admit that Echelon even exists."[16]

War on Terror (2001–present)

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the surveillance capabilities of the Five Eyes were greatly increased as part of the global War on Terror.

During the run-up to the Iraq War, the communications of UN weapons inspector Hans Blix were monitored by the Five Eyes.[41][42] The office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was bugged by British agents.[43][44] An NSA memo detailed plans of the Five Eyes to boost eavesdropping on UN delegations of six countries as part of a "dirty tricks" campaign to apply pressure on these six countries to vote in favour of using force against Iraq.[43][45][46]

SIS and the CIA forged a surveillance partnership with Libya's ruler Muammar Gaddafi to spy on Libyan dissidents in the West, in exchange for permission to use Libya as a base for extraordinary renditions.[47][48][49][50][51]

As of 2010, the Five Eyes also have access to SIPRNet, the U.S. government's classified version of the Internet.[52]

In 2013, documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the existence of numerous surveillance programs jointly operated by the Five Eyes. The following list includes several notable examples reported in the media:

  • PRISM – Operated by the NSA together with the GCHQ and the ASD[53][54]
  • XKeyscore – Operated by the NSA with contributions from the ASD and the GCSB[55]
  • Tempora – Operated by the GCHQ with contributions from the NSA[56][57]
  • MUSCULAR – Operated by the GCHQ and the NSA[58]
  • STATEROOM – Operated by the ASD, CIA, CSE, GCHQ, and NSA[59]

In March 2014, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Australia to stop spying on East Timor. This marks the first time that such restrictions are imposed on a member of the FVEY.[60]

Domestic espionage sharing controversy

In recent years, documents of the FVEY have shown that they are intentionally spying on one another's citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on spying. [7][8][9][10][61] Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the advocacy group Liberty, claimed that the FVEY alliance increases the ability of member states to "subcontract their dirty work" to each other.[62] The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden described the FVEY as a "supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn't answer to the laws of its own countries".[6]

As a result of Snowden's disclosures, the FVEY alliance has become the subject of a growing amount of controversy in parts of the world:

  •  Canada: In late 2013, Canadian federal judge Richard Mosley strongly rebuked the CSIS for outsourcing its surveillance of Canadians to overseas partner agencies. A 51-page court ruling asserts that the CSIS and other Canadian federal agencies have been illegally enlisting FVEY allies in global surveillance dragnets, while keeping domestic federal courts in the dark.[63][64][65]
  •  New Zealand: In 2014, the NZSIS and the GCSB of New Zealand were asked by the New Zealand Parliament to clarify if they had received any monetary contributions from members of the FVEY alliance. Both agencies withheld relevant information and refused to disclose any possible monetary contributions from the FVEY.[66] David Cunliffe, leader of the Labour Party, asserted that the public is entitled to be informed.[66]
  •  European Union: In early 2014, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs released a draft report which confirmed that the intelligence agencies of New Zealand and Canada have cooperated with the NSA under the Five Eyes programme and may have been actively sharing the personal data of EU citizens.[67][68]

Other international cooperatives

Since the addition of two members in 1956, the specific Five Eyes consist of Australia (accepted 1956), Canada (accepted 1948), New Zealand (accepted 1956), the United Kingdom (co-creator 1946), and the United States (co-creator 1946).[69][70] Further, there is a group of nations termed '3rd Party Partners', which share their intelligence with the 5 Eyes.

While the Five Eyes is a very specific agreement with specific operations amongst the five nations, other non-FVEY sharing agreements have been set up independently and for specific purposes. For example, according to Edward Snowden, the NSA has a "massive body" called the Foreign Affairs Directorate that is responsible for partnering with foreign countries.[71]

Six Eyes

According to the news magazine L'Obs, in 2009, the United States proposed to France to join the Five Eyes, that would then have become the "Six Eyes". Nicolas Sarkozy however made the requirement to be granted the same status as other allies, including the signing of a "no-spy agreement". This requirement was approved by the director of the NSA, but not by the director of the CIA, and furthermore not by President Barack Obama, resulting in a refusal from France.[72]

In 2013 it was reported that Germany was interested in joining the Five Eyes alliance.[73][74] At that time, several members of the United States Congress, including Tim Ryan and Charles Dent, were pushing for Germany's entrance to the Five Eyes alliance.[75]

Israel is, reportedly, an observer in Five Eyes.[76]

Singapore is reported to have partnered with the Five Eyes.[77]

Nine Eyes
Nine Eyes
A map of the Nine Eyes countries

The Nine Eyes is a different arrangement that consists of the same members of Five Eyes working with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Norway.[69][70]

Fourteen Eyes
Fourteen Eyes
A map of the Fourteen Eyes countries

According to a document leaked by Edward Snowden, there is another working agreement amongst 14 nations officially known as SIGINT Seniors Europe, or "SSEUR".[78] These "14 Eyes" consist of the same members of 9 Eyes plus Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.[69][70]

Further intelligence sharing collaborations

As spelled out by Privacy International, there are a number of issue-specific intelligence agreements that include some or all the above nations and numerous others, such as:[79][80]

  • An area specific sharing amongst the 41 nations that formed the allied coalition in Afghanistan;
  • A shared effort of the Five Eyes nations in "focused cooperation" on computer network exploitation with Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey;
  • Club of Berne: 17 members including primarily European States; the US is not a member;
  • The Counterterrorist Group: a wider membership than the 17 European States that make up the Club of Berne, and includes the US;
  • NATO Special Committee: made up of the heads of the security services of NATO's 28 member countries;

List of FVEY surveillance targets

Notable individuals

As the surveillance capabilities of the FVEY continue to increase to keep up to pace with technological advancements, a global surveillance system has been gradually developed to capture the communications of entire populations across national borders.[81] The following list contains a handful of targets of the FVEY who are public figures in various fields. In order for a person to be included in the list, there must be well-documented evidence based on reliable sources, such as leaked or declassified documents or whistleblower accounts, which demonstrate that the person involved is, or was, intentionally targeted for FVEY surveillance.

Picture Name Lifetime Surveillance agencies Notes Ref.
Charlie Chaplin portrait Charlie Chaplin 1889–1977
  • MI5
  • FBI
A British comedian, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era, Charlie Chaplin became one of the most important figures in the film industry through his screen persona "the Tramp". Due to his alleged ties to communism, he was placed under surveillance in the early 1950s by MI5 agents, who acted on behalf of the FBI as part of a campaign to banish him from the United States. [82][83][84]
Strom Thurmond Strom Thurmond 1902–2003
  • Various
A Dixiecrat candidate in the 1948 U.S. presidential election, Strom Thurmond represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 until 2003, when he became 100 years old and was recognized at that time as the longest-serving senator in U.S. history. In 1988, Margaret Newsham, a Lockheed employee, told a closed-door session of the United States Congress that Thurmond's telephone calls were being intercepted by the FVEY via their ECHELON surveillance system. [85][86][87]
Nelson Mandela-2008 (edit) Nelson Mandela 1918–2013
  • CIA
  • SIS
A South African activist, lawyer, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, Nelson Mandela was denounced as a terrorist by critics and was placed under surveillance by British SIS agents. In 1962, Mandela was arrested after details of his terrorist activities were picked up by the CIA and handed over to local authorities. [88][89][90][91]
Jane Fonda Cannes nineties Jane Fonda 1937–
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
An American actress, writer, political activist and former fashion model. Due to her political activism, her communications as well as those of her husband, Tom Hayden, were intercepted by the GCHQ and handed over to the NSA. [92][93]
Seyyed Ali Khamenei Ali Khamenei 1939–
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
A Shia cleric and a former President of Iran, Ali Khamenei is the current Supreme Leader of Iran. During a rare visit to Iranian Kurdistan in 2009, he and his entourage were targeted for surveillance under a high-tech espionage mission involving the analysis and processing of satellite imagery. The operation was jointly conducted by the GCHQ and the NSA. [94]
JohnLennonpeace John Lennon 1940–1980
  • FBI
  • MI5
A British musician, songwriter, and a lead singer of The Beatles, John Lennon engaged in anti-war activism through several iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". In 1971, he moved to New York City to join activists in the United States to protest against the Vietnam War. Over the next 12 months, the U.S. government launched an extensive surveillance operation to monitor his activities and to deport him back to Britain. The operation was conducted by the FBI with the help of MI5. [95][96][97][98]
Olmert Ehud Olmert 1949–
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
An Israeli politician, lawyer, and a former Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert is the 12th Prime Minister of Israel. He and the Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, were included in a list of surveillance targets used by the GCHQ and the NSA. [99]
SusiloBambangYudhoyono Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono 1949–
  • ASD
  • NSA
A former chief military observer of the United Nation Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia and the former President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife were placed under surveillance by the ASD, which shared details of the operation with the NSA. [100][101][102]
Angela Merkel (August 2012) cropped Angela Merkel 1954–
  • Various
A German politician, former research scientist, and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005, Angela Merkel's phone communications were monitored by the Special Collection Service, which is part of the STATEROOM surveillance program of the FVEY. [103][104][105]
Diana, Princess of Wales Diana, Princess of Wales 1961–1997
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
A firm opponent of the international usage of land mines, the Princess of Wales was placed under surveillance by the GCHQ and the NSA, which kept a top secret file on her containing more than 1,000 pages. The contents of Diana's NSA file have not been disclosed because of national security concerns. [106][107][108]
Kim Schmitz cropped and edited Kim Dotcom 1974–
  • FBI
  • GCSB
A German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur, businessman, and hacktivist, Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz) is the founder of the file hosting service Megaupload. On behalf of the FBI, the GCSB of New Zealand conducted illegal surveillance on Dotcom. Prime Minister John Key later issued an apology for the GCSB's illegal surveillance. [109][110][111][112]

Notable organisations

Broadcasting networks
Financial institutions
Multinational corporations
Oil corporations
Search engines
Telecom operators
United Nations

See also


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External links


AUSCANNZUKUS is an abbreviation for the naval Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) interoperability organization involving the Anglosphere nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is also used as security caveat in the UKUSA Community, where it is also known as "Five Eyes".

Australian Signals Directorate

Australian Signals Directorate (ASD; until 2013: Defence Signals Directorate, DSD) is the Australian government agency responsible for foreign signals intelligence, support to military operations, cyber warfare, and information security. ASD is part of the Australian Intelligence Community. ASD's role within UKUSA Agreement (Five Eyes) is to monitor SIGINT in South and East Asia. The ASD also houses the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

The unit was established in 1947 by executive order as the Defence Signals Bureau within the Department of Defence, and underwent several name changes until its current name ASD was adopted in 2013. ASD was converted to a statutory body by the Intelligence Services Act 2001. ASD is based in Canberra, at the Defence Department Headquarters at Russell Offices. As of December 2017, Mike Burgess is the Director-General of ASD, replacing Director Dr Paul Taloni, who moves to a senior position within the Office of National Assessments. ASD is to become an independent statutory body on 1 July 2018.In April 2018, a proposal to empower ASD to collect intelligence on Australians was backed by Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, but is strongly opposed by some in Cabinet who argue it is not necessary. Under legislation, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are already allowed to seek assistance from ASD in conducting investigations on Australian citizens and businesses.


Dishfire (stylised DISHFIRE) is a covert global surveillance collection system and database run by the United States of America's National Security Agency (NSA) and the United Kingdom's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) that collects hundreds of millions of text messages on a daily basis from around the world. A related analytic tool is known as Prefer.


ECHELON, originally a secret government code name, is a surveillance program (signals intelligence/SIGINT collection and analysis network) operated by the US with the aid of four other signatory nations to the UKUSA Security Agreement: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, also known as the Five Eyes.The ECHELON program was created in the late 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and it was formally established in 1971.By the end of the 20th century, the system referred to as "ECHELON" had evolved beyond its military and diplomatic origins to also become "…a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications" (mass surveillance and industrial espionage).

Five Eyes Air Force Interoperability Council

The Five Eyes Air Force Interoperability Council (AFIC) is a formal Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States) military organisation with a mandate to enhance coalition warfighting capability through air force interoperability. AFIC consists of representatives each nation’s Air Forces and the United States Navy. AFIC has a Washington DC based Management Committee which oversees the execution of the program’s Vision and Mission with the cooperation of experts from member nations' defence departments.

AFIC's primary outputs are Air Standards, Advisory Publications and Information Publications which document common specifications, interoperability procedures and/or tactics, techniques, procedures (TTPs) in order to increase operational effectiveness.

Global surveillance

Global surveillance refers to the mass surveillance of entire populations across national borders. Its roots can be traced back to the middle of the 20th century when the UKUSA Agreement was jointly enacted by the United Kingdom and the United States, which later expanded to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to create the present Five Eyes alliance. The alliance developed cooperation arrangements with several "third-party" nations. Eventually, this resulted in the establishment of a global surveillance network, code-named "ECHELON" (1971).Its existence, however, was not widely acknowledged by governments and the mainstream media until the global surveillance disclosures by Edward Snowden triggered a debate about the right to privacy in the Digital Age.

Government Communications Security Bureau

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) (Māori: Te Tira Tiaki) is the public-service department of New Zealand charged with promoting New Zealand's national security by collecting and analysing information of an intelligence nature.

According to the Bureau's official website, it has a mission of contributing to the national security of New Zealand by providing:

information assurance and cyber security

foreign intelligence

assistance to other New Zealand government agencies

List of people under Five Eyes surveillance

The "Five Eyes" (FVEY) refers to an alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are bound by the multilateral UKUSA Agreement for joint cooperation in signals intelligence, military intelligence, and human intelligence. In recent years, documents of the FVEY have shown that they are intentionally spying on one another's citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on spying.As the surveillance capabilities of the FVEY continue to increase to keep up to pace with technological advancements, a global surveillance system has been gradually developed to capture the communications of entire populations across national borders. The following list contains a handful of targets of the FVEY who are public figures in various fields. In order for a person to be included in the list, there must be well-documented evidence based on reliable sources, such as leaked or declassified FVEY documents or whistleblower accounts, which demonstrate that the person involved is, or was, intentionally targeted for surveillance.

Lustre (treaty)

Lustre is the codename of a secret treaty signed by France and the Five Eyes (FVEY) for cooperation in signals intelligence and for mutual data exchange between their respective intelligence agencies. Its existence was revealed during the 2013 global surveillance disclosure based on documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Mass surveillance in the United States

The practice of mass surveillance in the United States dates back to World War I wartime monitoring and censorship of international communications from, to, or which passed through the United States. After the First World War and the Second World War, the surveillance continued, via programs such as the Black Chamber and Project SHAMROCK. The formation and growth of federal law-enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the FBI, CIA, and NSA institutionalized surveillance used to also silence political dissent, as evidenced by COINTELPRO projects which targeted various organizations and individuals. During the Civil Rights Movement era, many individuals put under surveillance orders were first labelled as integrationists then deemed subversive. Other targeted individuals and groups included Native American activists, African American and Chicano liberation movement activists, and anti-war protesters.

The formation of the international UKUSA surveillance agreement of 1946 evolved into the ECHELON collaboration by 1955 of five English-speaking nations, also known as the Five Eyes, and focused on interception of electronic communications, with substantial increases in domestic surveillance capabilities.Following the September 11th attacks of 2001, domestic and international mass surveillance capabilities escalated intensely. Contemporary mass surveillance relies upon annual presidential executive orders declaring a continued State of National Emergency, first signed by George W. Bush on September 14, 2001 and then continued on an annual basis by President Barack Obama, and upon several subsequent national security Acts including the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendment Act's PRISM surveillance program. Critics and political dissenters currently describe the effects of these acts, orders, and resulting database network of Fusion centers as forming a veritable American police state that simply institutionalized the illegal COINTELPRO tactics used to assassinate dissenters and leaders from the 1950s onwards.Additional surveillance agencies, such as the DHS and the position of Director of National Intelligence have exponentially escalated mass surveillance since 2001. A series of media reports in 2013 revealed more recent programs and techniques employed by the US intelligence community.

Advances in computer and information technology allow the creation of huge national databases that facilitate mass surveillance in the United States by DHS managed Fusion centers, the CIA's Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) program, and the FBI's TSDB.

Mass surveillance databases are also cited as responsible for profiling Latino Americans and contributing to "self-deportation" techniques, or physical deportations by way of the DHS's ICEGang national database.


NordVPN is a personal virtual private network (VPN) service provider. It has desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, mobile apps for Android and iOS, as well as an application for Android TV. Manual setup is available for wireless routers, NAS devices and other platforms. In 2017, PC Magazine rated NordVPN as the year's best VPN service.NordVPN is based in Panama, as the country has no mandatory data retention laws and does not participate in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances.In November 2018, NordVPN became the first official cybersecurity partner of Liverpool F.C.


Pinwale is the code name for a National Security Agency (NSA) collection and retrieval system for so-called "Digital Network Intelligence", including internet e-mail. It is searchable by monitored NSA analysts.

The existence of the system was first revealed by an NSA analyst who was trained in its use during 2005. However, according to Homeland Security Today, Pinwale has in it much more than email, it also contains other forms of Internet data, and other forms of digital communications as well. Its software has built-in protections against collecting from any of the Five Eyes members. Unlike its successor XKeyscore, targets for Pinwale have to be approved beforehand by the FISC.According to information obtained by The Guardian from Edward Snowden, Pinwale is part of a "multi-tiered system" to address the issue of NSA "collecting so much internet data that it can be stored only for short periods of time." The system allows analysts to store "interesting" content in databases such as Pinwale, which is capable of storing material for up to five years.Pinwale consists of at least two known partitions referred to as "Sweet" and "Sour".According to the documents leaked by Snowden, Pinwale normally processed about 60 GB of data per day without trouble. Pinwale was overwhelmed however when Yahoo started mass mailbox transfers between its datacenters, which were captured by the NSA's MUSCULAR program that taps the private clouds of Google and Yahoo. Monitored email accounts being hacked by spammers also present a challenge to Pinwale, because they can cause the database of suspect email addresses to grow exponentially with information of no intelligence value.

Power projection

Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state "to apply all or some of its elements of national power — political, economic, informational, or military — to rapidly and effectively deploy and sustain forces in and from multiple dispersed locations to respond to crises, to contribute to deterrence, and to enhance regional stability."This ability is a crucial element of a state's power in international relations. Any state able to direct its military forces outside the limited bounds of its territory might be said to have some level of power projection capability, but the term itself is used most frequently in reference to militaries with a worldwide reach (or at least significantly broader than a state's immediate area). Even states with sizable hard power assets (such as a large standing army) may only be able to exert limited regional influence so long as they lack the means of effectively projecting their power on a global scale. Generally, only a select few states are able to overcome the logistical difficulties inherent in the deployment and direction of a modern, mechanized military force.

While traditional measures of power projection typically focus on hard power assets (tanks, soldiers, aircraft, naval vessels, etc.), the developing theory of soft power notes that power projection does not necessarily have to involve the active use of military forces in combat. Assets for power projection can often serve dual uses, as the deployment of various countries' militaries during the humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake illustrates. The ability of a state to project its forces into an area may serve as an effective diplomatic lever, influencing the decision-making process and acting as a potential deterrent on other states' behavior.

Room 641A

Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.

Stone Ghost

STONEGHOST or "Stone Ghost", is a codename for a network operated by the United States' Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for information sharing and exchange between the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Other sources say that New Zealand is also participating, and that Stone Ghost therefore connects, and is maintained by the defense intelligence agencies of all Five Eyes countries.Stone Ghost does not carry Intelink-Top Secret information. It used to be known as Intelink-C and may also be referred to as "Q-Lat" or "Quad link". It is a highly secured network with strict physical and digital security requirements. The network hosts information about military topics, and about SIGINT, foreign intelligence and national security.

The Technical Cooperation Program

The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) is a long-standing international organisation concerned with cooperation on defence science and technology matters, including national security and civil defence. Its membership comprises Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

Turbulence (NSA)

Turbulence is a United States National Security Agency (NSA) information-technology project started c. 2005. It was developed in small, inexpensive "test" pieces rather than one grand plan like its failed predecessor, the Trailblazer Project. It also includes offensive cyberwarfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers. The U.S. Congress criticized the project in 2007 for having similar bureaucratic problems as the Trailblazer Project.

UKUSA Agreement

The United Kingdom – United States of America Agreement (UKUSA, yoo-koo-SAH)

is a multilateral agreement for cooperation in signals intelligence between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The alliance of intelligence operations is also known as the Five Eyes. In classification markings this is abbreviated as FVEY, with the individual countries being abbreviated as AUS, CAN, NZL, GBR, and USA, respectively.Emerging from an informal agreement related to the 1941 Atlantic Charter, the secret treaty was renewed with the passage of the 1943 BRUSA Agreement, before being officially enacted on 5 March 1946 by the United Kingdom and the United States. In the following years, it was extended to encompass Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Other countries, known as "third parties", such as West Germany, the Philippines, and several Nordic countries also joined the UKUSA community in associate capacities, although they are not part of mechanism for automatic sharing of intelligence that exists between the Five Eyes.Much of the sharing of information is performed via the ultra-sensitive STONEGHOST network, which has been claimed to contain "some of the Western world's most closely guarded secrets". Besides laying down rules for intelligence sharing, the agreement formalized and cemented the "Special Relationship" between the UK and the US.Due to its status as a secret treaty, its existence was not known to the Prime Minister of Australia until 1973, and it was not disclosed to the public until 2005. On 25 June 2010, for the first time in history, the full text of the agreement was publicly released by the United Kingdom and the United States, and can now be viewed online. Shortly after its release, the seven-page UKUSA Agreement was recognized by Time magazine as one of the Cold War's most important documents, with immense historical significance.The global surveillance disclosure by Edward Snowden has shown that the intelligence-sharing activities between the First World allies of the Cold War are rapidly shifting into the digital realm of the Internet.

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