The Fourth Eye

The Fourth Eye: Australia’s Role in the Five Eyes before and after Snowden

This is the latest title of my PhD dissertation.

With this website, I want to share what I’m reading and discovering in my research, which is about “quite likely the most secret agreement ever entered into by the English-speaking world,” (Bamford, 1982) between the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Five Eyes pact was born in extreme secrecy that served the UK and US well in highly classified collaborations to decrypt Nazi and Japanese codes during the Second World War. The habits and culture of secrecy grew throughout the Cold War and beyond, which means we know very little substantial detail of historical and technical signals intelligence (SIGINT) gathering, sharing and cooperation among the Five Eyes.

While activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA) have recently sparked global headlines and debate thanks to Edward Snowden, repeatedly overlooked is the fact that mass surveillance conducted by the NSA is only possible with the combined infrastructure, labour, facilities, and shared procedures for analyzing raw data collected by the intelligence institutions of all Five Eyes partners.

I am working towards producing an account of how the Five Eyes alliance operates in Australia, combining new evidence provided by Edward Snowden with previous accounts. I am also focusing on the dynamics of resistance to surveillance technologies by political movements who seek to rescue Australia’s democracy from the corrupting effects of mass surveillance..