[SIGCIS-Members] 5 Eyes

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 20:30:12 PDT 2021


Yes, thanks for that pointer to ECHELON, which reminded me to have another look at Nicky Hager's 1996 book "Secret Power". He refers for example to classified documents stamped ‘US/UK/CAN/AUST/NZ EYES ONLY’ which is "Five Eyes" in all but name. I suppose there was a fairly recent rebranding exercise in the same timeframe as the Snowden revelations. (Which, by the way, surprised nobody that I know in the Internet security world, although they found some of the details interesting.) Of course we don't know what secret inter-governmental agreements may now be in force, apart from the public attempt to promote "Five Eyes" as a political tool.

I am far from convinced that the Wikipedia article on Five Eyes is 100% reliable.

(Incidentally, I work on the assumption that Echelon/PRISM/whatever has had a look at all my email since the mid-1990s, as one of the progenitors of the IETF's pro-encryption stance in RFC1984.)

   Brian Carpenter

On 24-Apr-21 13:13, Bo An wrote:
> Dear Brian Carpenter,
> I'm not sure about the Five Eyes, but the reports on the ECHELON project might be useful. See for example https://www.duncancampbell.org/content/echelon
> Best,
> Bo
> On Sat, Apr 24, 2021 at 1:53 AM Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com <mailto:brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Hello,
>     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?
>     Regards
>        Brian Carpenter
>     _______________________________________________
>     This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org <http://sigcis.org>, the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/ and you can change your subscription options at http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org

More information about the Members mailing list