If you have never heard of what is the Five Eyes Alliance until now, well settle down with your blanket and a torchlight, because this spooky tale about shadow governments may cause you to lose sleep.
As you may know, many government organisations operate sovereignly from their respective governments, and by doing so, enables a government to be not accountable for its actions. Some might refer to it as a shadow government.
The Five Eyes Alliance is one such example of this.
The Five Eyes Alliance (FVEY) is an omnipresent spying force, one global-surveillance conglomerate representing various countries who work together to collect and share mass surveillance data. FVEY operates outside of government control and through it, allows governments to spy on their own domestic citizens (an action that would otherwise be illegal), granting the government privacy (instead of their private citizens!).
The Five Eyes, part of the UKUSA Agreement was originally a signals intelligence agreement between the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Born amidst World War II as a means of spying on communists, has since grown in power and number from its inception.
While the US’ National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) initially shared information to gain a competitive advantage, they expanded to include other countries to broaden their scope.
From ‘Five Eyes’ to ‘Fourteen Eyes’, or as it is officially known as the ‘SIGINT Seniors of Europe’. SIGINT is short for Signals Intelligence, and this came about when the Five Eyes continued to expand.
From the Five Eyes, the organisation grew to Nine Eyes which included the five countries plus:
With the tragedy of September 11th, it became the perfect opportunity to justify further expanding by growing to be the Fourteen Eyes, including:
Other notable additional partners which have been reported to foster close ties with the alliance are:
And their only duties?
To collect and share intelligence amongst themselves.
The Intercept, with help from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation published Snowden-leaked documents, nine years’ worth of the NSA’s internal newsletter, SIDtoday, which offered a closer look at the scope of the Eyes, and the sheer extent of how the Five Eyes operates outside of government control.
In fact it operates so far out of government control, that the Prime Minister of Australia at the time, Gough Whitlam, was unaware of the agreement. He only became aware of the Five Eyes after the 1973 Murphy raids, which were raids conducted on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to obtain terrorism-related information that the ASIO was accused of withholding.
Prime Minister Whitlam then made the upsetting discovery that the NSA had created Pine Gap, a secret surveillance station in Australia outside Alice Springs, which was so secret that almost no one knew about it, including Whitlam himself.
Pine Gap is a place shrouded in mystery. The Intercept describes Pine Gap as ‘the US spy hub in the heart of Australia’. It operates a fleet of satellites which are described as being positioned high in orbit, at more than 20,000 miles above the Earth’s surface. They are equipped with powerful surveillance technology used to monitor wireless communications on the ground, such as those sent and received by cellphones, radios, and satellite uplinks.
Why would they allow another security organisation, from an entirely different nation to intrude on their privacy?
It is because in most countries, there are relatively concrete laws dictating how much private information from private citizens their own governments are entitled to, which makes it harder for a government to spy on their own people.
But by using the Five Eyes to circumvent regulations, one country can use the data collected by another to gain access to private information. So, for instance, the NSA can use information collected by Australia to spy on US citizens where it would otherwise be frowned upon by Privacy Acts or laws. (Snowden leaked that the NSA paid the GCHQ more than a hundred million pounds for intelligence information collected about the American citizens.)
At the end of it all, there are no privacy laws, and all global citizens are almost surely subjected to giant shadow governments’ surveillance.