# Five Eyes Network

The last important example of a misused mass surveillance program is the Five Eyes Network. The network combines programs from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand through the UKUSA Agreement. Under Five Eyes is the NSA’s ECHELON program, which uses “satellite receiver stations and spy satellites...alleged to give it the ability to intercept any telephone, fax, Internet or e-mail message sent by any individual and thus to inspect its contents.”

A 2001 report by the European Parliament states that ECHELON posed “threats to privacy and to businesses.” The joint network can “place their interception systems at each other’s disposal...and make joint use of the resulting information,” circumventing a nation’s laws and giving victims “no domestic legal protection,” since the surveillance is being carried out by a foreign nation (European Parliament 2001).

In theory, the ability for several nations to pool their resources together should prevent a significant number of threats. When the program also has the ability to collect information on their own country’s citizens, it threatens the democracy in that country and degrades the legitimacy of the country’s government and laws.

Internal NSA memo on data sharing in the Five Eyes Network
An internal NSA Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID) memo on data sharing in the Five Eyes Network. [2]

# Sources

  1. European Parliament. Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System. Report on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system), by Gerhard Schmid et al. July 11, 2001, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A5-2001-0264+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN (opens new window).
  2. Five-Eyes Interoperability Discussions at NSAW -- Knights of the Conference Table?. Snowden Archive -- The SIDtoday Files. The Intercept, May 29, 2019. https://theintercept.com/snowden-sidtoday/5987435-five-eyes-interoperability-discussions-at-nsaw/ (opens new window).