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:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
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:
“Five Eyes” Top Surveillance Agencies Program
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.
Five Eyes other Surveillance Agencies Programs
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:
- According to Guardian “Israel gets all the surveillance data from NSA due to a close relationship with the US government
- Wikipedia claims that Israel has all the access similar to Five eyes to track and collects mass data surveillance
Japan, South Korea, and Singapore
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.
Overseas British Territories
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.
One More Thing You Should Know About “Five Eyes”
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:
Before the collaboration with Five Eyes and Nine Eyes countries, 14 countries are referred to as SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR).
That means before becoming a part of Five Eyes and Nine Eyes data surveillance program, these 14 Eyes countries already running their mass surveillance data project.
Why You Should Not Use A VPN Service That is Located 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes
Not only me but the majority of experts would recommend you to do not use VPN services located in 5 eyes, nine eyes, 14 eyes, and other partner countries.
The reason behind this is that primary objective of using VPN services is to keep your identity anonymous to get off from the eyes of spying and government.
And not sharing your online data and personal data is not illegal at all. Additionally, no regulation and law stated that it is illegal to keep your data confidential.
Secondly, the claim of zero log policy is not followed by most of the VPN providers i.e NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
Therefore, it is simple to understand that any VPN service that is located in 5 eyes, nine eyes and 14 eyes countries, monitor your data.
With the help of surveillance programs and government agencies. It means choosing a VPN outside these 14 eyes countries would be a better option to retain your online privacy.
However, their other factors too that should be considered while using a VPN provider. It does not mean VPN services which are located outside the 14 eyes countries and there partners are 100% reliable.
The other primary characters that you should consider before choosing the reliable VPN service are as follows:
Zero Log Policy
When choosing a VPN service, it is important that it has a strict zero log policy
Does the VPN service you are choosing fall within your budget
After connecting to several IP addresses, how much speed does go down or is it enough to use the internet without any lags
Is VPN provider offers enough amount of servers or the servers it provides is useful for you?
Military Grade Encryption
Is your selected VPN service offers 256-AES encryption to protect your data?
24/7 Customer Support
In case of any connectivity issue, how responsive is the customer support team to resolve the issue
VPN Providers Located at 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, 14 Eyes and Their Partners Countries
|VPN Service||Country||VPN Service||Country|
|Astrill||Seychelles||Autistici / Inventati||Italy|
|Avast Secureline||Czech Republic||Avira Phantom VPN||USA|
|ExpressVPN||British Virgin Islands||Faceless.ME||Cyprus|
|Hide My IP||USA||Hola!VPN||Israel|
|My Expat Network||UK||MyIP.io||USA|
|My Private Network||Hong Kong||MyVPN.Pro||USA|
|Norton WiFi Privacy||USA||NVPN||Bosnia|
|OctaneVPN||USA||Opera (Browser) VPN||Norway|
|oVPN.to||Depends on server location||Perfect Privacy||Switzerland|
|PirateParty.ca||Canada||Private Internet Access||USA|
|PrivatePackets.io||British Indian Ocean||PrivateTunnel||USA|
|PureVPN||Hong Kong||RA4W VPN||USA|
|Smart DNS Proxy||Seychelles||SmartVPN||Morocco|
I hope you would find this article helpful in understanding why it is important to consider 5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes countries while choosing a VPN service.
The grounds for protecting your online privacy are narrowing down since the countries who raise their voices against the violation of online security are the real culprits.
This is all part of their propaganda to make people fool by pretending that they are helping them out in maintaining their privacy, but the reality is way bitter than that.
In my opinion, there are still some VPN providers where you can put little trust due to their excellent performance. NordVPN offers great service and also not a part of 5, 9, 14 eyes countries.
However, if you are looking for affordable and secure VPN provider, i would recommend you to go for PureVPN. Not the best in terms of performance but secure to use since it is not a part of 5, 9, 14 eyes countries