RIGHTS AND PEOPLE GROUP Privacy International has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to take the bindings off of the secretive 'Five Eyes' group and its inception.
The Five Eyes alliance, which sounds like a Dr Who menace, is a collection of countries that presume to be better than everyone else and regularly get together to discuss what the rest of us need. They are the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
You would be hard pushed to find anyone with an interest in privacy, encryption or just having a nice time that supports the machinations of the multi-eyed international outfit, and it was only last week that 80-something outfits told the group to butt out of encryption.
Privacy International has filed a federal lawsuit in which it asks that the Five Eyes alliance coughs up records relating to the 1946 post-war agreement that set it up.
"For years, Privacy International has fought to shed light on the closely integrated relationship between the intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes alliance. Yet key documents, including the current agreement, remain secret, despite being critical to proper scrutiny of US surveillance activities," said Scarlet Kim, PI legal officer.
"The public has a right to know what rules govern the exchange of information - which may include purely domestic communications and data - through this private pact."
Privacy International said that no official information about the group has been released for 63 years and reminds us that a lot has changed since those days. It says that it has been campaigning for years to get more information, but that the lawsuit now seems like the most appropriate method. The group is represented in the suit by Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic (MFIA).
"Without knowing the procedures and rules that govern intelligence sharing among the Five Eyes, it is impossible for the public to know if this secretive surveillance abides by constitutional restrictions. Disclosure of the laws, rules, and regulations that constrain government surveillance is fundamental to basic democratic oversight," said Hannah Bloch-Wehba, stanton first amendment fellow at MFIA.
"The government's failure to make available even the most basic information about the rules currently in place corrodes public confidence in the rule of law and undermines our democracy." µ
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