5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Countries

The most powerful countries in the world are members of secret intelligence agreements known as Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes alliances. The countries involved in these agreements work together to collect and share mass surveillance data.

The information collected includes your browsing activity, phone calls, text messages, electronic files, location records, and more. From a privacy perspective, these are the worst places to set up a VPN company.

If your VPN service is located in one of these countries, you could be subject to intrusive surveillance, data retention, and data sharing laws. You may even be forced to hand over your data to the authorities.

In this guide, we’ll explain exactly what VPN jurisdiction is and how it affects your privacy. We also explain in detail the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes alliances and why they are important when choosing a VPN.

Overview of 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes

Here’s a brief overview of the countries in the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes alliances.

5 Eyes Countries 9 Eyes Countries 14 Eyes Countries
United States
United States
United States
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Australia
Australia
Australia
Canada
Canada
Canada
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand
Netherlands
Netherlands
France
France
Denmark
Denmark
Norway
Norway
Belgium
Italy
Germany
Spain
Sweden

Five Eyes Alliance

The Five Eyes Alliance (FVEY) is made up of the five parties to the UK, USA agreement.

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

The main purpose of the agreement is to provide a framework for the exchange of intelligence data between signatory countries. What does it really mean?

To understand the Five Eyes, it is important to know what Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) is. The term essentially means two things.

  • Communications Intelligence (COMINT) – the interception of voice communications, such as phone calls, and text communications (email, text messages, etc.).
  • Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) – The use of electronic sensors to intercept non-communicative signals, such as radar or surface-to-air missile systems.

The intelligence agencies of the “Five Eyes” countries, such as the NSA (U.S.) or GCHQ (U.K.), collect and share signals intelligence (i.e., spy) on a large scale from people in various parts of the world.

While these activities are primarily directed at geopolitical adversaries (China, Russia, Iran, etc.), no country is truly immune from such surveillance. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that the U.S. paid the British GCHQ to collect data on U.S. citizens and share it with the NSA – although it is illegal to “wiretap” citizens without a warrant, the U.K.-U.S. agreement provides a workaround to do so.

The Five Eyes Coalition was established in 1941 under the Atlantic Charter (which officially became the BRUSA Agreement in 1943), initially to spy on the Soviet Union and its allies. But as the political environment changed, so did the Alliance’s objectives and powers. Crucially, there was a steady shift toward collecting private communications (especially during the “war on terror”).

Nine Eyes Alliance

The Nine Eyes countries are also in the mix.

  • 5-Eye countries +
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Norway

The existence of the Nine Eyes Alliance is cited in some online sources and became known after the Snowden revelations in 2013. It is merely an extension of the Five Eyes Alliance, which collects and shares mass surveillance data through similar collaborations.

Fourteen Eyes Alliance

Fourteen Eyes refers to the intelligence sharing group of Five Eyes member states plus Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden, which participate as third parties in SIGINT sharing.14 Eyes is formally known as SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR) and has existed in some form since 1982. exists. The SIGINT High Level Conference, attended by the heads of SIGINT agencies (NSA, GCHQ, BND, French DGSE, etc.), is a forum for sharing information and discussing issues. While many of the members of this group are the same as the members of Nine Eyes, this is a different group. According to the leaked documents, this is not a formal contract, but an agreement between SIGINT agencies.

Protect your relationship with the Eyes (no, not Hall and Oates)

It’s worth noting that Eyes members do not need access to your VPN or ISP usage data to track your online activity. There are steps you can take to add a little anonymity to your online travels.

Users can use multiple VPN services to better anonymize and protect their connections. Users can run one VPN on the router and another VPN service on the device connected to the router.

While this doubles the protection by further obfuscating the original IP address, users who try this will almost certainly experience a performance degradation, and it increases the likelihood of having two providers hosting your online activity

Summary

Most of the world still believes that there is no need for a VPN. However, many people don’t realize that in today’s world, your data can easily be shared with millions of people on the Internet.

You may think that you don’t need a VPN because you haven’t done anything wrong, so you won’t be a target for 14 eyes because they only target criminals and terrorists. However, there are many reasons why you should get a VPN to protect yourself from Five Eyes and other third parties that have no right to access your personal data.

Don’t treat your Internet connection as an open invitation for anyone to access your data. You can choose to let companies use their power, or you can take steps to change that. Many companies believe they have the right to access your data just because you have shown some interest in their products.

All of these concerns can be avoided and fixed if you just keep a few simple things in mind in your life. If you use a VPN in conjunction with other privacy tools, you will always feel safe when browsing the Internet. This is not only true for the 5 eyes, but also for cyber bullies and hackers, there are so many eyes in the world and who knows who is trying to get your data.

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