Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The World’s Most Exclusive “Spy Club” | The Nestmann Group

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2018

That’s thanks to a little-known surveillance consortium that is undoubtedly the world’s most exclusive spy club. Nicknamed “Five Eyes,” it’s a top-secret intelligence-sharing alliance that was formed in 1946, whereby members agree to share intelligence they collect with one another. The club’s first members were the UK and the USA. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand joined later.

If you think you will get caught spying on your own citizens…order a club member to do it.

By Mark Nestmann

To understand the scope of the US government spying on its own citizens, not to mention the rest of the world, you need a long attention span.

A case in point is a lawsuit filed a decade ago by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) against the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies. The lawsuit seeks to force the NSA to end its practice of “dragnet surveillance,” the interception and copying all internet traffic that passes through the US. The NSA refers to this surveillance program, which was exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, as Stellar Wind.

The lawsuit relies in part upon an unclassified draft report published in 2009 by the NSA acknowledging Stellar Wind’s existence. But in a Kafkaesque irony which is common in litigation involving the NSA, the agency refuses to acknowledge the report’s authenticity, even though the NSA wrote the report. Thus, the NSA argues, the court must disregard the document and dismiss the lawsuit.

Help for the EFF arrived in an unexpected form earlier this month, when Edward Snowden himself filed a declaration stating that the report was in fact genuine. Now the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals must decide whether to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

Members of the Five Eyes club have agreed not to spy on citizens of another member without permission. So, if domestic courts order the NSA to discontinue its Stellar Wind initiative, what do you think will happen?

The NSA will simply outsource data collection to one of its Five Eyes partners. Indeed, this type of outsourcing has been common for a long time.

For instance, in 1983, then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher requested that Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s equivalent of the NSA, spy on two ministers in her cabinet she suspected of not being loyal to her. The CSE obliged, with the entire operation carried out at the expense of British taxpayers.

Naturally, a club as exclusive as Five Eyes has prospective new members clamoring to join. After all, getting other countries’ surveillance agencies to spy on your political enemies is a pretty sweet deal for a powerful politician.

Thus, Five Eyes has been expanded to 14 Eyes, with the addition of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden to the club. Israel, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea are also rumored to be part of this secret alliance…

Be seeing you







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