They are known as the Five Eyes, AKA FVEY, an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising of the following countries:
- United States (co-creator 1946)
- United Kingdom (co-creator 1946)
- Canada (accepted 1948)
- Australia (accepted 1956)
- New Zealand (accepted 1956)
They spy on one another’s citizens and share the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on surveillance of citizens.
These countries are parties to the multilateral agreement for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
A system called ECHELON is currently used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide. The system is not a secret and is seen as a protective measure against terrorism.
It is a global system capable of collecting massive amounts of private and commercial communications, including internet, telephone, e-mail, radio and other types of data traffic.