(LONDON) Five Eyes Alliance Report: They are intelligence-sharing arrangement between five English-speaking democracies: the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.09: It evolved during the Cold War as a mechanism for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing classified intelligence. It is often described as the world’s most successful intelligence alliance. But recently it has suffered an embarrassing setback.

Five Eyes: Is the alliance in trouble over China? Four of the members have jointly condemned China’s treatment of its Uyghur population in Xinjiang province. They have also expressed concern over China’s de facto military takeover of the South China Sea, its suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and its threatening moves towards Taiwan, which China has vowed to “take back” by 2049. One country, though, has opted out of confronting China: New Zealand: Reuters: The Five Eyes group has successfully shared intelligence between Western powers for decades’

https://vpnveteran.com/five-eyes-countries-what-you-need-to-know/

By Frank Gardner
BBC security correspondent

Surprisingly, perhaps, for a nation that prides itself on respect for human rights, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta declined to join in this Western condemnation of Beijing, saying “it felt uncomfortable” with expanding the alliance’s role by putting pressure on China in this way. Although New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted on Monday that its differences with China are becoming “harder to reconcile”, the country still prefers to pursue its own bilateral relations with Beijing.

China’s state media has made much of this, talking of a wedge been driven between the two neighbours and allies, Australia and New Zealand.

China is New Zealand’s largest export market; New Zealand depends on China for close to 30% of its exports, mostly dairy products. So does Australia, but the two Antipodean neighbours clearly view China’s policies in a very different light. 

Australia’s federal government in Canberra has vetoed a major Chinese investment in the state of Victoria which was to be part of Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative, its growing acquisition of economic assets around the world. 

Meanwhile, China has imposed a series of damaging trade sanctions on Australia over the past year.

As the trade war between the two countries worsens, Australia’s wine exports to China have reportedly dropped by 96% from the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of this year, from A$325m (£181m) to just A$12m (£6.6m). New Zealand, on the other hand, has been rewarded by Beijing with ever-closer trade relations.

Getty ImagesNew Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern has taken a different China stance to Australia’s Scott Morrison

So what exactly has all this got to do with intelligence-sharing? Very little, is the answer. 

It was assumed last year by officials in the Five Eyes alliance that since all five nations broadly shared the same world view, then that view would also apply to China. In May 2020 the alliance agreed to expand its role away from just security and intelligence to a more public stance on respect for human rights and democracy. 

In November the alliance criticised the Chinese government for stifling democracy in Hong Kong when Beijing introduced new laws that disqualified elected legislators in the former British colony. A Chinese government spokesman reacted angrily, mocking the Five Eyes alliance by declaring that “those who dared to harm China’s sovereignty would find their own eyes poked out”.

Now, six months later, New Zealand’s departure from the party line on China has meant that the Five Eyes’ newly expanded role appears to have ground to a halt, prompting some to question whether the alliance is in trouble. 

But that would be an exaggeration. This was about politics, not intelligence. New Zealand is not leaving the alliance, it is only drawing a distinction between the two. In retrospect it was an overstretch of what Five Eyes was meant for: sharing secrets. 

There will almost certainly be some in New Zealand’s intelligence community who feel embarrassment at this playing out so publicly. By far the majority of intelligence shared within the alliance comes from Washington. The next biggest contributor is the UK, with input from GCHQ, MI6 and MI5. Considerably smaller contributions are made by Canada and Australia. 

When it comes to New Zealand, an intelligence review conducted in 2017 found that for every 99 pieces of intelligence NZ received through the alliance, it contributed just one. So New Zealand would clearly have much to lose if it left. 

In conclusion, then, is the alliance going to transcend into a unified diplomatic or political pressure group? Unlikely at this stage. Is its existence as an alliance for intelligence-sharing between allies in trouble? No.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.09: 2021:

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#australia, #canada, #china, #five-eyes, #london, #new-zealand, #u-k, #u-s

AUSTRALIA: ‘ Tony Abbot refuses to deny officials paid asylum boat crews to turn back to Indonesia ‘

#AceNewsReport – AUSTRALIA:June.12: Prime Minister Tony Abbott is refusing to deny claims Australian officials have paid asylum boat crews to turn back to Indonesia, saying the Government will stop the boats “by hook or by crook“.

Australian border officials reportedly handed over thousands of dollars to the captain and crew of a vessel carrying 65 asylum seekers which was intercepted off Java last week.

An Indonesian police chief was quoted as saying the six crew members said they had each been given $US5,000 by Australian officials to turn back.

Their vessel later crashed into a reef near the remote Rote Island.

Indonesia’s foreign ministry later told the ABC Indonesian police were investigating the claims.

Audio: Listen to Julie Doyle’s full report. (PM)

“This is endangering life. They were in the middle of the sea, but were pushed back,” foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.

Mr Abbott said on Friday “creative strategies” had been developed to stop the boats.

@AceNewsServices

#australia, #bangladesh, #burma, #indonesia, #new-zealand, #people-smuggling, #prime-minister-of-australia, #refugee, #rote-island, #tony-abbott

‘ National Party Captures Forty Nine Percent of Votes ‘

#AceWorldNews – NEW ZEALAND – September 20 – New Zealand’s ruling National party, which has been in power since 2008, was on its way to a victory as the centre-right party captured 49 percent of the vote with nearly three-quarters of the votes tallied.

A win would give Prime Minister John Key’s party its third consecutive term in parliament.

The Labour Party is trailing behind with 24 percent of the party vote, while the Green party is pulling up the rear with just 10 percent.

#ANS2014

#new-zealand

NEW ZEALAND: ' Justice Minister Judith Collins Resigns Prior to Election Campaign

#AceWorldNews – NEW ZEALAND – August 30 – New Zealand’s Justice Minister Judith Collins has resigned as the country’s general election campaign is getting under way.

​Allegedly Collins was involved with attempts to undermine the then director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) back in 2011, when she was the minister responsible for the SFO.

The leaks of her emails have been organized by the hacker.

Collins denied all allegations but announced that in given conditions she has no other choice but to resign.

#ANS2014

#new-zealand, #serious-fraud-office-sfo

` Australia has no plans to change its flag and remove `Britain’s Union jack’ according to Julia Bishop’

#AceWorldNews Australia has no plans to change its flag and remove Britain’s Union Jack from it,

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said. “Believe it or not, it’s not an issue that actually draws much attention in Australia,” Bishop told BBC Radio.

It follows an announcement by neighbouring New Zealand that it will hold a referendum on the issue.

New Zealand’s flag is nearly identical to Australia’s.

Extract post 11 March The existing design features the Union Jack and four stars representing the Southern Cross. Key has previously stated his preference for a silver fern as the national flag, but does not see the change as part of a trend towards severing ties with the UK, as some Republican groups do. http://wp.me/p165ui-4d9

#ANS2014

#australia, #bbc-radio, #britains, #new-zealand, #republicans, #union-jack

` New Zealand will hold a referendum on whether country gets a ` New Flag ‘ as present design features `Union Jack’

#AceWorldNews New Zealand will hold a referendum on whether the country gets a new flag during the next parliamentary term, Prime Minister John Key has said.

The design of the current flag symbolized a colonial and post-colonial era, local media quoted Key as saying.

The existing design features the Union Jack and four stars representing the Southern Cross. Key has previously stated his preference for a silver fern as the national flag, but does not see the change as part of a trend towards severing ties with the UK, as some Republican groups do.

#ANS2014

#new-zealand, #prime-minster-john-key, #republican, #southern-cross, #uk, #union-jack

` Maori King refuses to meet `Prince William during `Royal Tour ' saying it is not enough time to observe proper Protocols '

#AceWorldNews says that recent news from AFP ha stated that New Zealand’s Maori king has refused to meet Prince William during a royal tour next month, Prime Minister John Key said Tuesday, expressing disappointment at the snub.

John Key said Kensington Palace had hoped Prince William would visit King Tuheitia at the Turangawaewae marae, or meeting place, during his April 7-16 trip to New Zealand with wife Catherine and baby son Prince George.

But he said King Tuheitia’s office rejected the offer, arguing the 90 minutes allotted for the visit to the Maori leader’s base in the North Island was not long enough for proper protocols to be observed.

John Key said 90 minutes was a “quite generous” amount of time, given the royals’ busy schedule, and it was a shame the visit would not go ahead.

#ANS2014

#afp, #maori-king, #new-zealand, #prince-william, #royal-tour

New Zealand : `Appeals Courts Search Warrants used to raid Kim Dotcom’s Mansion were Legal`

AceWorldNews says an Appeals Court has ruled the search warrants used to raid Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand mansion were legal.

The decision is a setback in Dotcom’s battle against extradition to the US, where he is wanted for copyright charges in connection with MegaUpload.

This latest ruling by the Appeals Court has overturned a previous decision by High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann, who deemed that the search warrant issued in 2012 was not sufficiently specific and illegal.

The new ruling argues that the search warrants were reasonable and it was obvious, given Dotcom’s background, what they pertained to.

“This view is reinforced by the fact that Mr. Dotcom was a computer expert who would have understood without any difficulty the references in the search warrant to his companies … and the description of the various categories of electronic items,” the judges wrote in a 44-page ruling.

The court harked back to comments made by the internet tycoon’s lawyer Paul Davison that Dotcom’s “life and soul is on his computer.”

#aceworldnews, #rt, #kim-dotcoms, #megaupload, #new-zealand

#NSA ” Secret Document reveals `Gathering of Information of Private Communications of US Lawyers’ and their Clients”

#AceSecurityNews says that a `Secret Document’ obtained by `NYT‘ reveals that the #NSA has gathered private communications of `US‘ lawyers with their clients in the `Indonesian Government‘ involved in a `Trade Dispute with Washington”

With help from the Australians, the NSA has gathered private communications of US lawyers with their clients in the Indonesian government involved in a trade dispute with Washington, a secret document obtained by the New York Times reveals.

#NSA Indonesia ClientsThe document provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposes NSA activity in monitoring an American law firm at a time when it was representing the Indonesian government during its trade talks with counterparts from the US.

Titled “SUSLOC (Special US Liaison Office Canberra) Facilitates Sensitive DSD Reporting on Trade Talks” the document did not specify which trade case was being monitored by Australian intelligence through the so-called Five Eyes network that includes, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) offered to share with the NSA the information about monitored communications between Indonesian government officials and the unnamed US law firm, according to the February 2013 document.

At that time the Indonesian government was involved in a number of trade disputes with Washington and the New York times reports that the only US law firm involved was Chicago-based Mayer Brown

“I always wonder if someone is listening, because you would have to be an idiot not to wonder in this day and age,” Duane Layton, a Mayer Brown lawyer involved in the trade talks told NYT “But I’ve never really thought I was being spied on.” 

US intelligence officials have repeatedly claimed the NSA is not targeting American citizens and businesses without a warrant and not using its Five Eyes international network as a loophole. 

But the new leak confirms that US firms providing services to foreign clients can never be sure they aren’t being spied on. Last year, the US States Supreme court dismissed such fears as “speculative theory” of “hypothetical future harm,” refusing to let Americans challenge a provision in a foreign intelligence law that lets the NSA conduct secret warrantless surveillance on any US citizen as long as they are suspected of conversing with any foreigner.

 

NSA BaseAccording to 2009 procedural guidelines for the NSA, when a US citizen becomes an intelligence target, the agency is required to adhere to rules to protect the target’s privacy, for instance removing the identity of the American or data that does not add to the intelligence probe before sharing it with other agencies. 

Australians have been long cooperating with the NSA, focusing on the Asia region, mainly China and Indonesia. Last November is was revealed that they worked side by side on a large-scale joint surveillance operation on Indonesia during the 2007 UN climate change conference in Bali.

The intelligence report Australia offered to share could contain “information covered by attorney-client privilege,the spying agency warned the NSA liaison office in Canberra. Upon receiving guidance from NSA general counsel’s office, the Australian agency has been encouraged to continue their surveillance of the talks “providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.”

It remains unclear who those “interested customers” might be.

The new documents reveal that Australia obtained almost 2 million encrypted master keys from the Indinesian Telkomsel mobile network, and colleagues from NSA have helped ASD decrypt them. 

The Australian Defense Force public affairs office maintains that all intelligence is collected under strict legal guidance and is vital for supporting national interests, echoing the US officials’ narrative.

<

p style=”text-align:center;”>Meanwhile, the NSA when reached by the New York times about the new leaks “declined to answer questions.”

NYT, RT,  

 

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#acesecuritynews, #edward-snowden, #australia, #canberra, #chicago, #indonesia, #indonesian-government, #mayer-brown, #new-york-times, #new-zealand

New Zealand: “Blasts `Japan’ for allowing a `Whaling Ship’ to enter Economic Waters”

#AceWorldNews says `New Zealand blasts Japan for whaling ship entering Economic Waters’

New Zealand has sharply criticized Japan for allowing a whaling ship to enter its economic waters. Tokyo ignored requests that the Shonan Maru 2 steer clear of New Zealand’s 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), New Zealand said Monday.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ship pursued an anti-whaling vessel operated by protest group Sea Shepherd, AP reported. Last week, a different Japanese whaling ship and a second Sea Shepherd boat collided in the icy seas off Antarctica. New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully described Japan’s latest actions as “unhelpful and disrespectful.”

 

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#aceworldnews, #antarctica, #exclusive-economic-zone, #glenn-inwood, #japan, #murray-mccully, #mv-shonan-maru-2, #new-zealand, #sea-shepherd-conservation-society, #tokyo

Press release: Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Environment Chapter

#AceSecurityNews says today, 15 January 2014, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs’ Report. The TPP transnational legal regime would cover 12 countries initially and encompass 40 per cent of global GDP and one-third of world trade. The Environment Chapter has long been sought by journalists and environmental groups. The released text dates from the Chief Negotiators’ summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. PDF

TPP WikiLeaksThe Environment Chapter covers what the Parties propose to be their positions on: environmental issues, including climate change, biodiversity and fishing stocks; and trade and investment in ‘environmental’ goods and services. It also outlines how to resolve environmental disputes arising out of the treaty’s subsequent implementation. The draft Consolidated Text was prepared by the Chairs of the Environment Working Group, at the request of TPP Ministers at the Brunei round of the negotiations.

When compared against other TPP chapters, the Environment Chapter is noteworthy for its absence of mandated clauses or meaningful enforcement measures. The dispute settlement mechanisms it creates are cooperative instead of binding; there are no required penalties and no proposed criminal sanctions. With the exception of fisheries, trade in ‘environmental’ goods and the disputed inclusion of other multilateral agreements, the Chapter appears to function as a public relations exercise.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ publisher, stated: “Today’s WikiLeaks release shows that the public sweetener in the TPP is just media sugar-water. The fabled TPP environmental chapter turns out to be a toothless public relations exercise with no enforcement mechanism.”

The Chairs’ Report of the Environment Working Group also shows that there are still significant areas of contention in the Working Group. The report claims that the draft Consolidated Text displays much compromise between the Parties already, but more is needed to reach a final text. The main areas of contention listed include the role of this agreement with respect to multilateral environmental agreements and the dispute resolution process.

The documents date from 24 November 2013 ─ the end of the Salt Lake City round. They were requested by the Ministers of the TPP after the August 2013 Brunei round. The Consolidated Text was designed to be a “landing zone” document to further the negotiations quickly and displays what the Chairs say is a good representation of all Parties’ positions at the time. The WikiLeaks Consolidated Text and corresponding Chairs’ Report show that there remains a lot of controversy and disagreement within the Working Group. The Consolidated Text published by WikiLeaks is not bracketed, as per the IP Chapter released in November 2013, as it is drafted by the Chairs of the Working Group at their responsibility. Instead, the accompanying Chairs’ Report provides commentary on the draft Consolidated Text and is the equivalent of bracketed disagreements for the countries that have not agreed on certain Articles, and provides their positions.

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. This is the third in the series of Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) leaks published by WikiLeaks.

 

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#acesecuritynews, #brunei, #julian-assange, #new-zealand, #salt-lake-city, #tpp, #trans-pacific-strategic-economic-partnership, #united-states, #wikileaks