The recent allegations by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau linking the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil to the Indian government have put the spotlight on the intelligence-sharing alliance ‘Five Eyes’ (or FVEY).
About Five Eyes’ Intelligence Alliance
- It is a multilateral intelligence-sharing network shared by over 20 different agencies of five English-speaking countries — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- It is both surveillance-based and signals intelligence (SIGINT).
- Intelligence documents shared between the member countries are classified as ‘Secret—AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/US Eyes Only,’ which gave the group its title ‘Five Eyes.’
- Background of the alliance
- The alliance between the U.S. and the U.K. evolved around the Second World War to counter the Cold War Soviet threat.
- The two countries, which had successfully deciphered German and Japanese codes during the World War, forged a collaboration to share intelligence related to signals such as radio, satellite and internet communications.
- In the aftermath of the war in 1946, the alliance was formalised through an agreement for cooperation in signals intelligence.
- The treaty called the British-U.S. Communication Intelligence Agreement, or BRUSA (now known as the UKUSA Agreement), was signed between the State-Army-Navy Communication Intelligence Board (STANCIB) of the U.S. and the London Signal Intelligence Board (SIGINT) of Britain.
- Its scope was limited to “communication intelligence matters only” related to “unrestricted” exchange of intelligence products in six areas: collection of traffic; acquisition of communication documents and equipment; traffic analysis; cryptanalysis; decryption and translation; and acquisition of information regarding communication organisations, practices, procedures, and equipment.
- The arrangement was later extended to ‘second party’ countries —Canada joined in 1948, while Australia and New Zealand became part of the alliance in 1956.
Q1) What is Decryption?
It is the process of converting encrypted or encoded data back into its original, readable form, known as plaintext. Encryption is used to secure sensitive information and protect it from unauthorized access or interception during transmission or storage. Decryption reverses this process, making the data accessible to those with the appropriate decryption key or algorithm.