What are the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Alliances?

3 min

If you’ve been reading the tuxlerVPN blog, you already know the hostility of the internet. Ever since it has become an integral part of our lives, it has also tried (and succeeded to a great extent) to invade our privacy. Today, global surveillance has proliferated this practice with even entities like our ISPs trying to snoop on us for wicked reasons. 

Making this practice sort of official is the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes Alliances. These alliances are government-backed nexuses that exist to track, collect, and share intelligence data among each other to keep an eye on defense, international borders, terrorism, and their citizens’ internet activity. These alliances can pose a great risk to your privacy and personal data, most often without your knowledge.

While our residential VPN solution aims to tackle such an anti-privacy menace and lessen the impact of this hostility, there are a few things that are beyond our control. These things can only be tackled by being aware of them and using tools and practices against them. Even then, you can shield yourself only to a certain extent.

Here’s a rundown on what the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Alliances are, how they impact you, and how you can tackle them. Read on.

What is the 5 Eyes Alliance?

The 5 Eyes Alliance as we know it today is a product of intelligence-sharing systems founded during and enhanced in the aftermath of the Second World War. It’s an alliance between five countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

5 Eyes Alliance (FVEY) was originally created as a pact (called the UKUSA agreement) between the United States and the United Kingdom for defense, political, and socioeconomic purposes. It was formalized in 1946, a few years after which the other three countries joined (Canada in 1948, and Australia and New Zealand in 1956), along with Norway, Denmark, and West Germany on its way to becoming the 9 Eyes Alliance.

Although, the Five Eyes Alliance – also known by its shorthand AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/US EYES ONLY – is restricted to the five countries. A few more countries like Singapore and South Korea – called the Third Party Partners – also share their intelligence with the Five Eyes in return for similar data, though they are not permanent members.

The purpose of this alliance was for the countries and their respective agencies to share anything from security intelligence to defense information with each other. However, as you can guess, over the decades the treaty has turned its eyes to the internet too. The 5 Eyes Alliance engage in internet surveillance to catch activities that may be of concern to them, including instances of online terror funding, illegal activities on the darknet, and piracy.

This is a grave invasion of your privacy. If you live in any of these five countries, your internet activity data can be sourced and shared if needed. That can put you in a vulnerable position.

What is the 9 Eyes Alliance?

The Nine Eyes Alliance is just an extension of the 5 Eyes Alliance, with four more countries joining the treaty. These four countries are Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Norway. This basically means that if you are a resident of Denmark or Norway, your internet activity may be prone to surveillance, and such data may be shared with the intelligence agencies of other countries such as the United States.

What is the 14 Eyes Alliance?

As you can guess, the 14 Eyes Alliance is a further extension of the 5 Eyes and 9 Eyes Alliance. Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Spain are the five more countries that joined. 14 Eyes is also known as SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR). Over the years, more such treaties have proliferated with the same intention of internet surveillance.

The existence of these surveillance alliances emphasizes the need to have an always-on VPN. While using a VPN is not a foolproof way to avoid the Eyes, it makes it slightly difficult to gain your web activity data. 

Still not subscribed to a reliable VPN? Consider tuxlerVPN.

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