Five Eyes Alliance [FVEY]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 14, 2022, 6:59

The system of the Five Eyes Alliance helped to capture and track communications between the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations. The existence of ECHELON was revealed to the common people at the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s.

This announcement erupted a controversy in the European Parliament. The global debate also raised concerns about the use of surveillance technology.

History of the Five Eyes Alliance

The roots of the Five Eyes Alliance can be linked back to a series of chance meetings between American and British codebreakers during the time of the second world war. When the Cold War got underway, the FVEY designed a surveillance system code-named ECHELON.

According to history, the Five Eyes Alliance's surveillance power was broadened during the time of the 'war on terror, 2001' to track and observe the terror group conversations and information on the world wide web. Opponent parties, on the other hand, raised claims of spying on ordinary people's private conversations.

Agencies of the Five Eyes Alliance


  • Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)
  • Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)
  • Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)
  • Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO)
  • Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO)


  • Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CENTCOM)
  • Communications Security Establishment (CSE)
  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)

New Zealand

  • Directorate of Defence Intelligence and Security (DDIS)
  • Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)
  • New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS)

United Kingdom

  • Defence Intelligence (DI)
  • Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • Security Service (MI5)
  • Secret Intelligence Service (MI6, SIS)

United States of America

  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Defense Intelligence Agency ( DIA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
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The Discovery of the Existence of the Five Eyes Alliance [FVEY]

When Edward Snowden, a former consultant for the US National Security Agency, revealed sensitive data to the public in 2013, it sparked a firestorm of controversy. According to the documents, the Five Eyes had been eavesdropping on and amassing information on private conversations of persons in their own countries.

The documents also stated that this was performed in order to circumvent domestic surveillance laws on private citizens.

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Notable Operations Performed by Five Eyes Alliance

The Five Eyes Alliance carried on different notable operations. The British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA were capable of accumulating information from the military and diplomatic and tactful communications of the Soviet Union.

Add to that, During the Vietnam War, operators from Australia and New Zealand obliged the United States to observe North Vietnamese air defence networks. The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) deployed one of its experts to intrude on Kuwaiti government offices after the Gulf War got terminated.

The Five Eyes Alliance [FVEY] is now concentrating on expanding its power by inviting democracies that share similar goals. The committee is looking forward to asking countries including India, Japan, South Korea, etc. to join the alliance.

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FAQs on Five Eyes Alliance

Q1. What is the Five Eyes Alliance?

The Five Eyes refers to an intelligence alliance. Five Eyes Alliance has five member nations, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The foundation of the Five Eyes can be traced all the way back to casual encounters between American and British codebreakers during World War II.

Q2. Is India a part of the Five Eyes Alliance?

India is not a part of the Five Eyes Alliance. However, the committee has proposed that like-minded democracies, including India, South Korea, and Japan, join the alliance to develop a stronger base against China and Russia.

Q3. Why was the Five Eyes Alliance developed?

During the Cold War, it was necessary to establish a monitoring system to keep an eye on the opposing superpower, the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, the five English-speaking democracies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand formed the Five Eyes Alliance to monitor and appraise the Soviet Union and share important intelligence.

Q4. What do the five eyes stand for in the Five Eyes Alliance?

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States make up the Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence alliance. The multinational UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for collaborative signals intelligence cooperation, has these countries as signatories.