On Thursday, May 25, 2017 the United Kingdom announced that they will cease sharing intelligence information as a result of the latest leak by the United States in the investigation into the Manchester bombing incident on Monday, May 22nd. Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, stated that investigation has been “compromised by the leaks and we can’t afford anymore, so we’ve taken a temporary decision to say let’s clear it out and draw a line.”
Now this “temporary halt” only applies to this investigation and incident, and not the overall intelligence sharing network between the United States and Great Britain, but it certainly sends a message to the U.S. as the entire world is listening: The U.S. has a big problem with keeping its mouth shut.
The U.S. is part of a larger intelligence network referred to as the Five Eyes or FVEY which is an alliance among Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Evolved out of the original Atlantic Charter post-World War II, the Five Eyes was originally established to monitor the activities of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain of Eastern Bloc countries. After September 11th, their activities expanded and extended as the Global War on Terror raged on.
In 2013, the Five Eyes were under some intense scrutiny after Edward Snowden’s leak which included information on a program called Echelon. This surveillance program allowed FVEY members to spy on billions of private communications for one another, while circumventing the legalities surrounding the prohibitions on domestic spying.