Five Eyes

What is the Five Eyes ?

Canada’s recent accusation of India’s involvement in the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), has triggered a diplomatic dispute that shines a spotlight on the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance. The investigation into Nijjar’s death by Canadian authorities has escalated into a diplomatic row following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion that India had a hand in the incident.

What is the Five Eyes intelligence alliance?

The Five Eyes alliance stands as an intelligence-sharing network consisting of five prominent nations: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This alliance has its roots in a partnership formed in 1946 between the United States and the United Kingdom, primarily focused on exchanging intelligence signals. Over time, it expanded to include Canada in 1949, followed by Australia and New Zealand in 1955. While these five nations serve as the core members, the alliance also engages in collaboration with third-party partners who share information but do not possess formal partner status.

The role and purpose of the Five Eyes

At its core, the Five Eyes alliance exists to consolidate resources and facilitate the sharing of intelligence among its member nations. As technology has progressed over the decades, the methods used by these countries to gather and exchange information have also evolved. While conventional methods such as radio signals played a substantial role in the past, contemporary operations rely heavily on digital tracking and interception.

A pivotal moment for the alliance occurred in 2013, as reported by CBC News when Edward Snowden, a whistleblower, leaked a trove of intelligence documents from the US National Security Agency. These documents disclosed that the Five Eyes nations were not solely engaged in espionage activities against foreign countries but were also collecting and retaining data pertaining to their own citizens. This revelation sparked a worldwide debate and raised concerns about finding the right balance between national security and individual privacy.

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