[SIGCIS-Members] 5 Eyes

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 16:53:29 PDT 2021


Is anyone here aware of a study of the history of the "Five Eyes" signals intelligance sharing agreement? As there is currently some kind of effort to turn it into a political or diplomatic pseudo-alliance, its history is of some interest.

As far as I know it originated quite late in World War II, well after Pearl Harbour, and the first formal agreement was the UKUSA agreement in 1946. Already in 1944, there was a data link from the UK via Canada to the USA, and there was a plan for a link via Honolulu to Melbourne, Australia. There was a New Zealand representative at the Australian sigint centre in Melbourne. At that time, Australia, Canada and NZ were very much trated as subservient to the UK (they were technically still Domains, not 100% independent) so the formal agreement was only between the UK and the USA.

How all this evolved during and after the Cold War is unclear to me. Any pointers?

   Brian Carpenter

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