Five Eyes, 9 Eyes, 14 Eyes: Its Matter When Choosing a VPN Provider?
- Salman Ahmed
- December 11th, 2018
The mystery regarding five eyes, nine eyes and 14 eyes when choosing a VPN is getting curious. At different privacy communities, people ask this often why we should take care of 5 eyes, nine eyes and 14 eyes.
In short, it is very crucial to know about these “Eyes” while choosing a service like VPN. This is because these terms refer to international surveillance alliances. Which show the number of countries who are part of it.
These “Eyes” countries work together to track and breach your data without letting you know. In short, these countries work as one unit to collect and share mass surveillance data.
Therefore, I decided to elaborate these five eyes, nine eyes and 14 eyes terms for you. In this guide, I will demonstrate why these “Eyes” surveillance alliances are significant when choosing a VPN.
Following five countries are the first “Eyes” (FVEY) in the history:
These five eyes have a prolonged history of becoming an alliance since World War II. Initially, this alliance agreement was between United States and United Kingdom for sharing data and intelligence.
And this alliance goes on throughout the era of cold war. And this makes it stronger at the time of growing terrorist activities.
The person who revealed these five alliances identity was Edward Snowden back in 2013. At that time he revealed regarding “5 eyes” alliance countries and agencies that are still working together.
The objective of this alliance to gather your data and online activities. Following are some big surveillance agencies that work for Five Eyes, according to Edward Snowden:
PRISM is one of the most promising surveillance agencies who work for Five Eyes. It was run under NSA with the primary objective of collecting data and tracks all the activities of citizens.
Not only that, there are multiple renowned names of the online industry, which were part of this data surveillance program such as Facebook, AOL, YouTube, Skype, Yahoo, and Apple.
According to information reveal by Edward Snowden, Prism can monitor live communications and collects data of emails, online social activities (from pictures to history of file sharing), browsing history and even users voices.
Additionally, other intelligence surveillances also ask for users data by requesting to dedicated ISP’s and online organizations.
The perimeters of this surveillance agency were not only limited to NSA. Surveillance agencies of UK like GCHQ also have a term with PRISM to use users’ data or even monitor their online activities.
In simple word, if the spying agencies like CIA, NSA, and FBI want to collect your data, they can easily get it through PRISM.
One of the most highlighted surveillance programs by Snowden during the revelation of Five Eyes was ECHELON. It was developed at the time of World War II to break into Soviet’s Union communication.
And the ECHELON supercomputers are powerful enough to monitor and storing millions of their communications data.
Furthermore, these ECHELON supercomputers also used for tracking and monitoring private communications.
Mightiest surveillance program in the histories shocks the world and make them realize how fragile their online privacy is. In one of Snowden’s interview, he explained the limitless capabilities of XKeyscore, in which he explained:
“You could read anyone’s email in the world, anybody you’ve got an email address for. Any website: You can watch traffic to and from it. Computer that an individual sits at: You can watch it. Any laptop that you’re tracking: you can follow it as it moves from place to place throughout the world…”
This one also runs under NSA with the collaboration of international intelligence agencies mainly from UK and Australia.
The main objective behind the development of this program was to track and analyze the global internet traffic.
According to Edward Snowden, top-level surveillance activities were handled through XKeyscore. These top-level surveillance activities contain information regarding how NSA tracks and monitor the online activities of users.
According to Wikipedia, following are the Surveillance Agencies that work under “Five Eyes”:
After what I reveal here, there is no surprise that countries those constantly raise their voices regarding online privacy violations are the worst abusers of it:
The US government agencies have been using mass surveillance collection data methods with the help ISP’s and big brands in the telecom industry.
Additionally, in result Battleforthenet triggered against the control given to ISP’s to collect users data and sell it third parties.
Sadly, a country like Australia also implemented policies that indirectly allow ISP’s and massive tech organizations to collect and share users data.
According to Investigatory Act 2016, organizations like telecom industry and ISP’s have been storing messages, browsing history and connections times.
Moreover, this collection of data was storing data for two years, which were available for UK agencies and all their collaborators without any special request.
More countries collaborate with “Five Eyes” but not mention in the list:
Israel should be a part of Five Eyes surveillance partners since it has very strong relations with the USA and its National Surveillance Agency (NSA). Here some prove of it according to the following resources:
The list of close Five Eyes partners not over yet. According to reliable sources Japan, South Korea, and Singapore also have access to all the surveillance programs run by Five Eyes.
Since the United Kingdom is a key member of “Five Eyes,” all the adjacent countries are also be the part of it. While many of these territories exercise some independence, they are still legally connected to the United Kingdom.
Even if these Five Eyes countries do not have good relations with other countries, they have a massive influence on multinational corporations. Therefore, these Five Eyes countries force organizations to give access to users’ data.
Nine Eyes countries include all the Five Eyes countries and the following:
In simple words, Nine Eyes is the second tier of Five Eyes alliances with similar access to use different surveillance programs to collect and share users’ data.
14 Eyes countries include all the Five Eyes and 9 Eyes countries plus the following: