Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, 14 Eyes Surveillance & Your Privacy Explained

In latest times, we hear loads of discussions and arguments going on about the subject of ‘privateness’. And if you’ve been staying in the loop about virtual privacy worries, then you probably have heard approximately, or understand a chunk about the five eyes countries, and their extension to nine eyes and 14 eyes countries. So these days, we’ll speak what the five eyes, 9 eyes, and 14 eyes nations are, and how they have an effect on international privateness.

At an person, privacy is difficult to outline due to the fact absolutely everyone desires a exclusive degree of privacy. Some can be perfectly high-quality sharing records approximately themselves, while a few don’t need to proportion some thing.

But on a countrywide or even worldwide scale, the concept of privateness has shifted in most cases, if not completely, to the virtual platform. The cause in the back of it’s also quite obvious – almost all forms of verbal exchange, statistics, and transactions have grow to be digital. But in recent times, the concept of on-line privacy is developing a matter of subject for lots of human beings, experts and the overall public included.

When speaking about privateness, one common topic that is introduced up regularly is the global surveillance settlement of the five eyes, nine eyes, and 14 eyes countries. Let’s see who those countries are, what they do, and what position do they play inside the depend of virtual privateness.

Five Eyes Alliance

Five Eyes Alliance
Five Eyes Alliance

‘Five eyes’ is an intelligence alliance that consists of 5 international locations – The USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. As consistent with this alliance, the five eyes international locations gather intelligence from one-of-a-kind elements of the world, and share it with each different, normally for peacekeeping, defense, and army functions. Along with sharing of facts, alternate of personnel is also allowed in the intelligence agencies of 5 eyes countries.

History and Origin

After the quit of World War II, in the course of the Nineteen Forties, an alliance became made between the united states and UK, and changed into even named because the UKUSA Agreement. The National Security Agency (NSA) in the US and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK started out co-working with every different to acquire and alternate intelligence.

Later on, three extra nations – Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – additionally joined in to offer birth to the 5 eyes agreement. It was additionally beneficial for america and UK to sign up for arms with those international locations, as more members within the alliance might imply greater assets and manpower to gather worldwide information. That is how the Five Eyes alliance turned into formed.

Intelligence Agencies of Each Nation

The intelligence groups of the United Kingdom and US are GCHQ and NSA respectively. These also are two of the most important and effective businesses on the subject of signal intelligence. Apart from those, the safety organizations of different nations inside the five eyes intelligence are:

  • Australia – Australia Signals Directorate (ASD)
  • New Zealand – Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)
  • Canada – Communications Security Establishment (CSE)

What They Do

Now don’t count on to get an in depth answer approximately the entirety those agencies do. In truth, we may additionally hardly ever even recognise a fraction of what they do. After all, they are quite secretive corporations and address touchy records. That is why until 1999, the Five Eyes alliance became not even recounted by means of any authorities in the international.

However, these days, we do recognise that they exist, and additionally some bits and portions approximately what they do. These groups, within the only phrases, undercover agent on unique nations, the use of one-of-a-kind mediums, to collect intelligence. They need such intelligence to make certain that no usa is adversarial towards them, in addition to to discover and neutralize international threats.

Each united states is accountable for tracking a positive a part of the world as consistent with the five eyes settlement.

  • USA – Monitors Middle East, Russia, China, Africa.
  • UK – Europe, Middle East
  • New Zealand – Western Pacific
  • Australia – South and East Asia
  • Canada – Russia, Latin America

Surveillance Projects of Five Eyes Alliance


The ECHELON software is led by means of the NSA, and is an automated surveillance system that intercepts digital and satellite communications. It become first disclosed with the aid of Perry Fellwock, a former analyst in the NSA, in 1972.

Since then, there have been many attempts to uncover the details of this program. The final blow to the secrecy of ECHELON was given through Edward Snowden, and the NSA, for the primary time, mentioned its existence.

The ECHELON automatically intercepts and scans thousands and thousands of calls, textual content messages, and other sorts of communications. It is designed to hit upon certain keywords or phrases that could characterize a few countrywide or global threats.

When any such keyword is detected, some human employees is notified who makes use of important approach to recognize the context in which the word/word was used. If the context is discovered to be risky, the individual the usage of the phrase is assessed as a risk. It become additionally revealed that government officers had used ECHELON to spy on citizens of many nations.


TEMPORA is any other device used by the Five Eyes Alliance of their surveillance sports. While ECHELON is spearheaded with the aid of the NSA, TEMPORA is specifically used by the GCHQ. TEMPORA centered on intercepting records this is transferred thru optic cables.

It way that TEMPORA spies on the net simply as ECHELON spies on electronic conversation.

TEMPORA also scans all statistics that it collects for goal keywords or terms. If detected, they go through the equal system as ECHELON. Basically, both the equipment have the equal characteristic however just display distinct modes of conversation. Once once more, it became Snowden who found out the lifestyles of this application in 2013.


Also uncovered by means of Snowden, XKEYSCORE is an all-rounder surveillance machine of the NSA that it stocks with choose allied countries. And as per Snowden, it could be used to secret agent on any person in any region around the sector. This implies that it may intercept all forms of conversation, from telephone calls to browsing records and GPS place.

Like both the tools mentioned before, the statistics collected by way of XKEYSCORE is also scanned to hit upon ability threats. Among the three structures, XKEYSCORE is likewise believed to be the maximum superior and tremendous surveillance software.

However, NSA has stated in their authentic assertion that using XKEYSCORE is restricted simplest for countrywide safety functions and that handiest pick out employees have get right of entry to to it.

Nine Eyes Alliance

The 9 eyes alliance is an extension of the Five Eyes. Apart from the five founding nations, it also includes Denmark, France, Norway, and the Netherlands. Forming alliances with extra nations was quite useful to the Five Eyes international locations, especially the united states and UK because it intended more amassing and sharing of records.

However, the degree of exchange among the nine eyes countries is not on the same level as that of the Five Eyes alliance. Among themselves, the five primary nations share a greater amount of statistics. But they most effective proportion restrained intelligence with the 4 new nations inside the alliance. The Five Eyes alliance is greater co-operative where each kingdom works in unison with the opposite in a jointly useful way. But the nine eyes countries is not that inclusive, as Denmark, France, Norway, and the Netherlands don’t get get right of entry to to as tons info as the primary five nations.

As such, there have often been instances in which countries in the alliance also undercover agent on each different. For example, France and the USA have regularly completed surveillance sports on each other even though they’re both a part of the Nine Eyes alliance.

Fourteen Eyes Alliance

The 14 eyes alliance become shaped via the addition of 5 more nations to the Nine Eyes. Those were Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Sweden. The stage of co-operation among these international locations is even much less than that of the Nine Eyes. So they don’t percentage intelligence among every different as freely because the Five Eyes international locations do. Even once they do proportion facts with every different, they’ll accomplish that simplest if it’s inside the first-class interest in their very own kingdom.

How Do The five Eyes, nine Eyes, And 14 Eyes Affect Digital Privacy?

Just knowing that authorities companies can spy on us whenever and everywhere is already a scary reality. But there’s not sufficient concrete proof that could show the volume to which such businesses undercover agent on human beings. Also, there is a widespread perception that humans have in their government, and intelligence organizations constantly declare that they refrain from acting any unethical action.

So maximum human beings have a popular belief that the government will comply with certain ethical requirements and now not simply undercover agent on absolutely everyone. But time and again, revelations made by way of people like Snowden appear to suggest otherwise. The net is already an risky location to begin with. Knowing that authorities officials also secret agent on regular human beings best raises more motives for difficulty.

Of path, many people also experience that those issues aren’t that extreme. Some consider it as an problematic conspiracy, even as many others without a doubt don’t care approximately it. A lot of people additionally advocate that as long as you don’t do whatever incorrect, there’s no want to fear even supposing the government does undercover agent on you. But many human beings additionally recognize that mass surveillance of this kind is unethical and invades an individual’s privateness.

Even when we don’t keep in mind authorities corporations, different companies are still collecting our facts. Amazon is aware of your on line buying options and what merchandise you buy regularly. Facebook is aware of your call, cope with, electronic mail, birthday, or even what you appear to be. Your navigation device knows your current place, as well as previous locations you’ve been to. The net is aware of our private information, likes & dislikes, food choices, subjects of interest and a lot more.

The concept of government monitoring all our communique raises an essential question on the difficulty of virtual privacy. If the lawmakers themselves can encroach upon our privacy, then who shall we flip to?

Problems with 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Alliance

Before the Snowden incident, perhaps many humans believed strongly that government surveillance organizations paintings to defend the human beings. But now, we are left thinking if governments secret agent on their personal residents. We are left unsure as to whether those businesses observe any rules and regulations in any respect, as they’re not answerable to any regulatory bodies. This is the most important depend of subject in terms of such an intelligence alliance.

The second issue is that of imbalance. The Five Eyes international locations are all English-talking international locations dominated with the aid of a white population. No different intelligence employer or alliance can degree with or counter the surveillance abilties of Five Eyes international locations. It way that those international locations have an unfair benefit over many other international locations in terms of topics of national and worldwide intelligence. The reality that most effective 5 decided on Anglosphere nations maintain such energy and affect in terms of intelligence and touchy information is some thing to be involved about.

Even within the Five Eyes nations, the bulk of strength and influence lie in the palms of the USA and the UK, thus developing even extra imbalance.

Measures against Global Surveillance

Whether the authorities is spying on citizens or no longer may be arguable, however it’s positive that they’ve the equipment needed to accomplish that. So allow’s check the specific approaches that we are able to keep away from international surveillance, if now not absolutely, then at the least each time feasible.

1. Change your mindset

One of the most important issues with privacy is humans’s perception of it. Many human beings trust that there’s no need to fear about authorities surveillance as long as you don’t do some thing illegal. “I don’t need to cover whatever if I haven’t carried out whatever incorrect” – that’s their mindset. But you can in no way be sure how the government or any other 0.33 celebration may attain and use records associated with you. So the first step is to exchange your mentality and be more conscious and worried approximately your privacy.

2. Limit the use of Smart gadgets

Most gadgets we use in our houses have become ‘Smart’ nowadays. You can join your tv, fridge, health watch, and your home security system all on your mobile cellphone at once. But the extra and longer you use such smart gadgets, the more records they gather approximately you. And the Five Eyes international locations have a high stage of authority to extract such records from different organizations. So either begin using fewer devices or lessen the entire time you spend on smart devices.

three. Use a VPN to guard your privacy

Most of the digital surveillance methods are based totally on net utilization. Your IP address and browsing records by myself are sufficient to build a basic profile on you. So one of the excellent methods to avoid worldwide surveillance is to cover your on-line footprint the usage of a VPN connection. It masks your IP address and forestalls your ISP from finding out your net interest, sites you’re travelling, and the facts you are getting into.

When you’re related to a VPN, the best aspect your ISP can see is which you are the use of a few digital private community. But they gained’t know what are you streaming or surfing. Basically, a VPN will make you nameless and untraceable while you’re online.

However, even if deciding on a VPN carrier, you must preserve positive matters in thoughts, which includes:

  • Choosing a VPN service that gives many servers outside of the 14 eyes international locations. Go through one-of-a-kind VPN vendors and select one that has masses of servers based in nations aside from the 14 eyes international locations.
  • If viable, select a VPN service this is completely primarily based outside of the 14 eyes countries.
  • Learn approximately the privateness legal guidelines of your united states and their rules on VPN usage.
  • Get a top rate carrier, unfastened VPNs aren’t reliable in phrases of privacy and safety.

How do the five eyes, 9 eyes, and 14 eyes agreement have an effect on VPN usage?

If any of the 14 eyes countries get right of entry to your online information, they can percentage it among different countries too. One can by no means be too positive about the activities of these countries, and the quantity they could go to collect intelligence. VPNs which might be based totally in any of the 14 eyes nations may additionally also be forced at hand over private facts by using the government, based totally at the united states’s privacy guidelines.

So to truly protect one’s privacy from the 14 eyes countries, absolutely the use of any VPN isn’t sufficient. You’ll must select the VPN company based totally on these 4 elements:

1. Your Physical Location

The first aspect to recollect is the us of a you live in. If you’re a citizen of anyone of the 14 eyes nations, then you definately need to be privy to your united states of america’s privateness legal guidelines. Do they allow using VPNs? Have there been any suggested cases inside the past in which they have got abused their strength to collect facts?

If you’re based totally in one of the five eyes international locations, you’ll should cross for a fairly steady VPN connection. Because those countries are taken into consideration the maximum energetic when it comes to surveillance sports.

2. Your VPN’s registered region

Then the following crucial aspect is to recognize where the VPN organization is primarily based. If the corporation is situated in the five eyes international locations, then it’s better to keep away from them. There’s a high hazard that the intelligence groups of those nations can pressure them to hand over the customers’ information.

For most protection, it’s fine to pick a VPN that is primarily based out of doors of the 14 eyes nations.

three. The VPN server vicinity

Most VPNs offer servers from exclusive countries. It’s crucial to pick out a server from countries out of the 14 eyes settlement. If the server is based totally inside the 14 eyes international locations, their companies may additionally have a few authority to access the data.

four. VPN log policies

Log rules confer with what user facts is saved in the VPN servers. VPNs with zero log policies do no longer store your IP and net sports. Some VPNs have ‘no identity log’ policies, that means they save your net activity however now not your IP cope with. Avoid VPNs that don’t follow these guidelines.

VPN jurisdiction in the 14 eyes international locations

The desk under indicates the legality of VPNs within the 14 eyes international locations and the VPN providers based in these nations.

CountryAllianceVPNsVPN Usage
United StatesFive Eyes, 9 Eyes, 14 EyesIPVanish, Hide My IP, Hotspot Shield, Private Internet Access (PIA), Private Tunnel, TorGuard, StrongVPN, Touch VPN, SecureVPN, Norton Wifi Privacy, Speedify, VPN Unlimited, SwitchVPN, Ace VPNLegal
United KingdomFive Eyes, 9 Eyes, 14 EyesSaferVPN, HideMyAssLegal
CanadaFive Eyes, Nine Eyes, 14 EyesWindScribe, TunnelBear, Betternet, BTGuard VPN, SurfEasyLegal
Australia5 Eyes, Nine Eyes, 14 EyesCelo VPN, VPNSecure.meLegal
New ZealandFive Eyes, Nine Eyes, Fourteen eyesLegal
DenmarkNine Eyes, 14 EyesLegal
FranceNine Eyes, 14 EyesLegal
NorwayNine Eyes, Fourteen EyesOpera VPNLegal
NetherlandsNine Eyes, 14 EyesGoose VPNLegal
Belgium14 EyesLegal
Italy14 EyesAirVPNLegal
Germany14 EyesZenmate, Avira PhantomLegal
Spain14 EyesLegal
Sweden14 EyesPrivateVPN, Mullvad, AzireVPN, FrootVPNLegal

Best VPN out of doors 14 eyes countries

1. ExpressVPN

Here are some motives why we keep in mind ExpressVPN to be the nice inside the market:

  • Based in the British Virgin Islands (Out of 14 eyes international locations)
  • It presents a very high-pace connection throughout all its servers
  • High-grade navy encryption protocols
  • Strict no-log coverage
  • More than 3000 servers in one hundred sixty places
  • It allows up to 8 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day cash-lower back guarantee

2. SurfShark

The following functions make SurfShark one of the first-class VPNs outdoor the 14 eyes jurisdiction.

  • More than 1000 servers spread throughout sixty one countries
  • Decent speeds
  • Multi-hop function to replace between two VPN servers
  • CleanWeb function to block ads and malware
  • Based within the British Virgin Islands
  • Low subscription fee

3. CyberGhost

Our next choose is CyberGhos,t which takes its place in this list because of these capabilities:

  • Based in Romania
  • It offers superior encryption and high protection
  • More than 6000 servers throughout 89 international locations
  • Decent speeds
  • Reliable service, been running in view that 2001
  • 24-hour unfastened trial, no price required

Our Winner (ExpressVPN – A main VPN issuer with high privateness and protection)

When looking for a dependable VPN service, our recommendation is to go for ExpressVPN. Let’s take a look at some of its pinnacle capabilities which makes it a pinnacle-notch VPN company.

Here are the motives why we consider ExpressVPN to be the great inside the market for any requirement:

  • They are headquartered inside the British Virgin Islands which lies out of the jurisdiction of the 14 eyes countries.
  • They don’t preserve logs of your actual IP address and surfing records. When surfing the internet with ExpressVPN, your pastime is absolutely anonymous.
  • Blazing speeds, and greater than 3000 servers to choose from a hundred and sixty server locations present in 94 nations around the sector.
  • The customer support is of top magnificence with 24 /7 customer service and brief response time of around 15 to 30 minutes. Support is provided through Live Chat, Email, Ticket, Support documentation, and Contact Form. When we used the Live Chat alternative in my opinion, it took no extra than 2 minutes to get a reaction from the customer service govt. The aid tickets are managed using Zendesk.
  • Compatible with all platforms – Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Routers.
  • Affordable plans range from month-to-month to annual, with thrilling cut price gives.

A Final Note

The 5 eyes alliance, as well as the nine eyes and 14 eyes alliance, together shape a effective surveillance body. However, the power they have got is centralized amongst five/9/14 eyes alliance without a other bodies to preserve them in check. It makes the problem of surveillance and privateness even greater touchy. The records released by Snowden increases a number of suspicious palms on the authorities corporations of those alliances.

Even if we can’t make certain if we’re being spied on, the least we can do as everyday residents is to be properly-knowledgeable and keep our guards up. We hope that the records on these intelligence alliances will serve as treasured and educational data for you, as well as a reminder that it’s our duty to guard our personal privacy.

As a very last phrase of advice, we advise you to observe the recommendations we have shared to make the best and most stable use of VPN offerings. You may not make certain if the sports of five eyes countries, as well as the 9 eyes and 14 eyes countries, will affect you for my part or now not. But you have to exercise precaution on your own privacy, and strive out the exquisite VPNs such as ExpressVPN.


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