UK hosts Five Eyes intelligence summit

Harry Lye 29 July 2019 (Last Updated July 29th, 2019 12:48)

UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is hosting a two-day summit in London of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK.

UK hosts Five Eyes intelligence summit
Image: GCHQ Crown Copyright.

UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is hosting a two-day summit in London of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK.

The countries will discuss key security concerns from emerging threats, cybersecurity, encryption and the ‘illegitimate’ use of the internet.

The summit will see the Patel say: “Protecting the public from emerging threats needs continued and closer cooperation between international allies”

Patel said: “This is an exciting moment for the UK as we look to respond to a challenging and rapidly changing global environment, strengthening our influence on the world stage to promote our prosperity and security.

“The UK is a global leader on national security and child protection and we are committed to working with our close partners on shared challenges,” Patel added.

At Five Eyes meetings, ministers and senior officials from member states will discuss how best to counter foreign terrorist threats and border security challenges.

During this summit, UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will also host meetings alongside his Five Eyes counterparts including the US Attorney General William Barr.

A key focus of this year’s summit will be how to employ technology to protect children online, with representatives from Facebook, Google and Microsoft attending meetings to discuss how technology can prevent child endangerment.

The Home Office said in a press release: “A key government ambition is to work with international partners to develop and share new technology, including unique identifiers known as hashes, to bolster collective investigation capabilities and tackle the global nature of child sexual exploitation and abuse.”

The Five Eyes intelligence alliance was born out the WWII need for the US and the UK to share intelligence, with Canada, Australia and New Zealand later admitted to the alliance.

Intelligence collected by the US Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and their Canadian, Australian and New Zealander counterparts is shared under the alliance.

The full list of representatives attending includes Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton MP, Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale MP, Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen MP, Canadian Associate Deputy Minister of Justice Francois Daigle, New Zealand’s Minister of Justice Andrew Little MP, New Zealand’s Attorney General David Parker MP, US Attorney General William Barr, and US Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security David Pekokse.