WASHINGTON — Last week, Acting Deputy Secretary David P. Pekoske attended the Five Country Ministerial in London, England, alongside Attorney General William P. Barr to represent the U.S. and to discuss the protection of each nation from active and emerging security threats.
Five Eyes refers to the security alliance forged between the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, who have each vowed to work together in matters of national security, intelligence, counter terrorism, and cyber vulnerabilities.
The Acting Deputy Secretary and Attorney General Barr joined the Home Affairs, Interior Security, and Immigration Ministers of the Five Eyes countries in a series of ministerial sessions to confront threats, including: cybersecurity, emerging technology, asylum fraud and border security, online child sexual exploitation and abuse, and foreign interference. They were joined in part by the Quintet of Attorneys General from each of the Five Eyes nations to discuss terrorism prevention, encryption, and foreign terrorist fighters.
US Attorney General William Barr, US Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security David Pekoske, New Zealand’s Attorney General David Parker, New Zealand’s Minister of Justice Andrew Little, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, Canadian Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale, Canadian Associate Deputy Minister of Justice Francois Daigle
Acting Deputy Secretary Pekoske and newly appointed Home Secretary Priti Patel of the U.K. were closely aligned in their desired approaches to protecting the citizens of all Five Eyes countries against these security threats.
The U.S. and foreign officials also met with representatives from leading technology companies— Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Roblox, Snap, and Twitter— and committed to begin tackling the epidemic of online child sexual exploitation and abuse together by designing a set of voluntary principles that establish systems for online platforms to stop the viewing, sharing, and live streaming of child sexual abuse material.
The Five Eyes partners also agreed to coordinate responses to national and international cyber threats. Acting Deputy Secretary Pekoske emphasized the risks of 5G networks to telecommunications security and discussed the importance of setting international standards for securing cyber networks based on evidence-based assessments with the Ministers.
Additionally, Five Eyes partners reestablished their commitment to collaborate in combatting foreign interference and agreed to increase cooperation on research, testing, and information sharing on counter unmanned aircraft systems.
The annual Five Eyes Ministerial brings ministers from the Five Eyes nations to discuss global security initiatives; changes to the tech industry; strategies for improving cybersecurity and addressing threats in the online environment; foreign interference; migration and border security; and countering the spread of violent extremism and terrorism. During the two-day event, the ministers finalized two communiques to articulate their commitment to continue safeguarding their nations against global and domestic threats.
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