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Home Secretary co-chairs virtual ‘Five Eyes’ Security Summit

19 June 2020

PARTICIPATING IN a virtual meeting co-chaired by Home Secretary Priti Patel, Government Ministers from the ‘Five Eyes’ partnership have all agreed to work together to tackle the increasing global threats caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting of Home Affairs, Interior and Security Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US, those involved discussed a range of threats including the increased risk of online child sexual abuse, disinformation and hostile state activity.

Taking part were co-chair Andrew Little (New Zealand’s Minister for Justice), Peter Dutton (Australian Minister for Home Affairs), Bill Blair (Canadian Minister for Public Safety), US Attorney General William Barr and Ken Cuccinelli (US Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security). 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “These are unprecedented times and now, more than ever, it’s important that we continue to work with our closest allies to protect our citizens. I was pleased to speak with my ‘Five Eyes’ colleagues to discuss the shared threats we’re facing and how we will work together to tackle them.”

Ministers focused on the persistent threat of hostile state activity as well as the spread of disinformation during the pandemic which is putting lives at risk. The nations agreed to share Best Practice and work together to counter these threats and ensure that the public can access reliable information to protect themselves.

Ministers raised the issue of cyber criminals exploiting the pandemic through ransomware, malware and phishing attacks. They agreed on the need to share intelligence around these kinds of scams and work closely to stop them.

Ministers of the ‘Five Eyes’ nations also agreed to continue to keep in regular contact during the pandemic and to meet in person for the next Five Country Ministerial event in New Zealand when possible.