Five Eyes spying alliance will survive Snowden

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Britain needed US intelligence to help thwart a major terror attack. New Zealand relied on it to send troops to Afghanistan. And Australia used it to help convict a would-be bomber.

All feats were the result of a spying alliance known as Five Eyes that groups together five English-speaking democracies, and they point to a vital lesson: American information is so valuable, experts say, that no amount of global outrage over secret US surveillance powers would cause Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to ditch the Five Eyes relationship.

The broader message is that the revelations from NSA leaker Edward Snowden are unlikely to stop or even slow the global growth of secret-hunting – an increasingly critical factor in the security and prosperity of nations.

Information is like gold,” said Bruce Ferguson, the former head of New Zealand’s foreign spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau. “If you don’t have it, you don’t survive.

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