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The future of five eyes


In the midst of World War II, the United States and Britain, with numerous threats of complex conflicts around the world, entered into a top-secret agreement to share the intelligence signals they gathered for the enemy. In the decade after World War II, the agreement included Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The group, which was formed to share signal information with trusted partners who share core values, became known as the “Five Eyes”.

Much information about the “Five Eyes” was not generally known to be harmful until the national security leak Edward Snowden In 2013. Since then, other countries have been eagerly looking for a chair on the table, but in a more complex world than 1945, this could be a long order. Today there is disagreement among the major five-eyed countries on how to deal 5G security concerns And how to deal with Invasive China, Can make things even more complicated.


  • The Five Eye Alliance (FVEY) is an information sharing alliance that includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • This alliance was formed through the sharing of information concluded during World War II, and until recently was rarely discussed in public.
  • This alliance is based on an agreement between the United States and Britain in 1946, known as UKUSA Agreement Which has set up a contract for the sharing of signal information (SIGINT).
  • Between 1946 – 1956, additional ضمائم Introduced to expand relationships to Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Summary: This week, The Cipher Brief International Summit Welcomes four national security experts with a direct understanding of the basis, importance and challenges facing the Five Eyes Alliance, and as a brief study ahead, we would like to hear their views on the importance of the Alliance and what they are as a starting point. See to share. Challenges and opportunities ahead to share information.

John McLaughlin, Former head of the CIA

Trust is the core of the five-eye relationship. The strength of this trust comes from the most common source of this quality: a history of doing difficult and dangerous work together and in the process that we must trust each other for information, genius and courage. This partnership, of course, took place in World War II, the largest single event in world history, and in contemporary times, its most important outcome. This experiment was tested during the Cold War, when it showed its existential threat, and again in the post-Cold War period, when issues such as terrorism threatened us all. Throughout this trait is the explicitness and ability to set aside politics in the interests of our collective interests and a set of common values ​​with a commitment to democracy and human freedom.

Sir John Scarlett, Former head, British Secret Service, MI6

Understanding the history of the five eyes is important. Officially, this goes back 75 years now. Until recently, this was a low-profile, rarely-discussed, intelligence collaboration. Very deep relationships, based on deep trust and shared values ​​around the world. They are largely protected from changing political conditions, policies and tensions.

دیک فدن, Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Canada

The five-eyed intelligence alliance was born in response to an obvious threat in World War II and continued during the Cold War with another threat. The challenge today is that gathering and sharing information must address many threats so that its efforts can increasingly penetrate governments. While the increase in visibility is a change of course, this does not mean the need to move into the political arena. Rather, it must and can demonstrate the right mindset for other areas of government.

David Irwin, Former Director General of Security, Australia

Five Eyes is not a formal alliance in itself. It grew as a discrete (and until recently secret) agreement to share information between five countries with common values. This has served us well, and adds value to each partner’s intelligence effort. It is constantly evolving and adapting its domain to meet the common information challenges of the day.

As other countries, threatened by authoritarian regimes, seek to expand their intelligence capabilities, there has been talk of expanding alliances. Expanding the concept of sharing information with more partners creates new and unique challenges for FVEY members. What other challenges and opportunities are there for FVEY in the future?

Sir John Scarlett, Former head, British Secret Service, MI6

In the coming period, the unique relationship of the five eyes will be challenged, both because of the much higher international profile and the rapidly changing global and geopolitical position. Liberal democracies seem to be on the defensive, facing authoritarian regimes that are assertive and seemingly confident. They no longer determine the state of the global economy. But they retain many strengths. How can you make the most of these by going to the future?

John McLaughlin, Former head of the CIA

In this new millennium, the fundamental challenge for the Five Eyes partnership is to strive to maintain shared value against the challenges of the world order on which it is based. As democracies under pressure and dictatorship become more aggressive, the need for cooperation between our democracies – and with partners who share these values ​​- is becoming increasingly necessary. We must be ready to compete peacefully with the enemies and to combine our efforts in a way that prevents them from provocative actions.

دیک فدن, Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Canada

If the five eyes are not going to get bigger, it’s a better way to keep repeating its benefits in other areas. For example, there are five people in the migration area and there is a similar group for border organizations. But underpinning all that, its application in dealing with the threat environment is evolving. This should dictate its evolution.

David Irwin, Former Director General of Security, Australia

Recent efforts to transform the concept of Five Eyes from its mere goal of sharing information into a broader policy and policy enforcement mechanism raise some important issues. How will the five eyes manage the disagreement that sometimes arises between participants about strategic policy? For strategically important issues of the day, effective policy approaches should include alliances and partners that are not part of the English-speaking eye. Do five eyes need the best tool to achieve wider engagement? However, the concept of Five Eyes is given to new strategic massage policies, the main purpose of which is not to gather information and share it among like-minded and reliable partners.

John MCLaughlin, Former CIA director

An urgent top priority is to collaborate on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning – which are critical to success against enemies. Moreover, at a time when intelligence services are being used as tools of internal control in many parts of the world, we have a duty to demonstrate that covert security services are most effective in democratic systems, accountable to elected officials. Act. And in an age where information is exploding, it is even more important that we use our business to separate reality from fiction and deliver untold truth to our policymakers.

Join The Cipher Brief’s experts International Summit: Three-day expert meetings on the strategic value of alliances, information, China, cyberspace and emerging technologies. Registration is free for Cipher Brief members. See how $ 10 per month Introduces you to the most experienced national security experts.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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