FIVE EYES ALLIANCE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     5th June 2024        

Context: The Australian military will recently begin recruiting noncitizens, but only those from the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership who hold Australian permanent residency will be eligible, according to the Australian government.

Five Eyes Alliance

  • About: Five Eyes is a secret agreement between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA. This secret agreement allows the intelligence agencies of these five nations to spy on the world.
  • Founded: In 1946
  • Formation

o Origin can be traced back the to the Second World War. The UK and the US decided to share intelligence after successfully breaking German and Japanese codes, respectively.

o In 1943, the Britain-USA (BRUSA) agreement laid the foundations for what would become the UK-USA (UKUSA) agreement.

o UKUSA was signed in 1946. Canada joined it in 1949, and New Zealand and Australia did so in 1956, forming the alliance.

o The Agreement was not officially acknowledged though its existence was known about from the 1980s. But in 2010, the UKUSA agreement files were released.

  • Member Countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the US.
  • Function: It is both surveillance-based and signals intelligence (SIGINT).

o Intelligence documents shared between the member countries are classified ‘Secret—AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/US Eyes Only,’ which gave the group its title ‘Five Eyes.’ 

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