Campaigners ask court to reveal extent of spying by Five Eyes Alliance
After the “Five Eyes” eavesdropping alliance called on internet companies to help it spy on the world’s citizens, civil liberties groups told the five countries to keep their hands off encryption — and one group has filed suit in a U.S. court to find out what the eavesdroppers are listening to.
A lot has changed in the 71 years since the Five Eyes — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. — formed their alliance. The people they’re spying on don’t just make phone calls to communicate: They also use smartphones, search engines and email, and upload data from their fitness trackers, providing spy agencies with a wealth of data.
But widespread use of encryption is making it harder for the spies to eavesdrop on that data as it travels over satellite and submarine telecommunications links. That prompted officials from the five governments, meeting in Canada in late June, to call on ISPs and device makers to cooperate with government efforts to break the encryption used by terrorists and criminals to hide their communications.