Five Countries Conference (FCC)

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It is interesting to note that the Five Country Conference (FCC) is, by chance, comprised of the same five states who take part in the ongoing 1946 UKUSA agreement which set up the global surveillance system. The FCC's work is centred on matching biometrics (fingerprints) to check refugees, asylum-seekers, those of "concern" and criminal offences:

"Five Country Conference: The Five Country Conference (FCC) is a forum for cooperation on migration and border security between the countries of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States (collectively called the FCC partners). FCC partners, including the United States, exchange biometric information in specific immigration cases where

• the identity of the individual is unknown or uncertain;
• the individual’s whereabouts are unknown; or
• there is reason to suspect that the person has been encountered by a FCC partner country.

The biometrics are exchanged to search against the existing biometric holdings of each FCC partner for determining the existence of information that may be pertinent to immigration and border management decision makers."

See: Five Country Conference visa application centre opens in Singapore: The UK joined Australia and New Zealand to officially open a new shared visa application centre (23.3.13, UK government, link) and see: VSF-Global, the third party company, which runs the Singapore operation for the UK, Australia and New Zealand, say in a press release (above):

"Over the past decade, the border control agencies of the five countries, namely Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) Australia, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Immigration, New Zealand (INZ), UK Border Agency (UKBA) and US Department of State, have conjointly worked on the following areas of cooperation:

• Identity Management, including the use of biometrics and other technology to tackle identity fraud
• Information sharing
• Intelligence and overseas liaison
• Returns and repatriation
• Intergovernmental migration and refugees
• Business development"


- US-VISIT conducted the Department’s Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) of the protocol: Five Country Joint Enrollment and Information-Sharing Project (FCC), 2.11.09, (pdf)

- The United Kingdom Home Office published its own Privacy Impact Assessment, 30.06.10 (pdf)

- IDENT programme (pdf): Says the FCC looks at: "associations of concern such that the individual could be found inadmissible to one or more of the FCC partner countries."

- ICAO on FCC (pdf): The work of the FCC Secretariat includes: Intelligence and Overseas Liaison and Returns and Repatriation

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