In July 2017, Yale Law School`s Privacy Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a complaint against the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the State Department and the National Archives and Records Administration seeking access to records related to the Five Eyes Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act. In recent months, we have begun to receive limited information from the NSA and the State Department. Although we have not seen the text of the current agreement – as well as other recordings that would give important information on the operation of the agreement – the revelations made so far give us an insight into the nature and extent of the US secret service exchange agreements. The United States was hesitant to involve Commonwealth countries on an equal footing and occasionally blocked the exchange of information with them. The 1946 agreement states that the exchange of information by the secret services is „not detrimental to national interests.“ Canada (like Australia and New Zealand) was part of the UKUSA community through its direct relations with the United Kingdom and, later, with the United States, and not through membership of the UKUSA agreement itself.  Although its existence has long been known, the agreement negotiated in London in March 1946 is only published now and is officially recognized for the first time, after questioning freedom of information in the United Kingdom and the United States. As part of the agreement, countries agreed to exchange knowledge on operations related to the interception, decryption and translation of foreign communications, including the „acquisition of documents and communication equipment.“ In a passage that has ensured that GCHQ`s activities remain in professional secrecy, the agreement states: „It is contrary to this agreement to disclose its existence to third parties, whatever.“ The fruits of the agreement are illustrated by reports on finished products from the early years of the Cold War. They show the nature of the material that was shared by the signatories of the agreement and contain military intelligence services as well as fascinating details of daily life within the Soviet Union. To support the history of the NSA agreement, the memorandum adds a 1945 memorandum from President Truman authorizing the then Minister of War and the Secretary of the Navy to „continue cooperation in the field of communication between the U.S. Army and the Navy and the British and to extend, modify or terminate that cooperation.
, or because it is determined to be in the best interests of the United States. This Presidential Memorandum is of particular interest because it provides evidence that the President directly authorized the various military branches to determine the course and future contours of the UKUSA agreement.