Australia’s intelligence services have been happy — at least in principle — to share raw data about the communications of Australian citizens with espionage partners in the U.S. and Britain, according to the latest NSA leak published by the Guardian.
Australia is part of the so-called Five Eyes alliance, which was set up in the turbulent 1940s as a way for a core group of English-speaking nations to share signals intelligence with one another and to avoid spying on one another. The other members are the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
The latest piece of surveillance-related information, brought to light by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, records a meeting held by the five countries’ intelligence services in 2008. At that meeting, the services discussed how comfortable they were with sharing metadata – the fragments of recorded information that tell the spooks who contacted whom and when.
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