14-Eyes Alliance Explained – How To Choose the Right VPN

If you’ve begun looking into the world of VPN services, you’ve almost certainly encountered a few curious eye-focused terms. Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes alliances might sound a little silly and spooky, but they’re very real agreements. The following will explore what these different alliances are and how this information pertains to choosing the right VPN for you.

What Is A VPN?

VPN stands for a virtual private network. It’s a piece of privacy software that helps make your online activities anonymous from both hackers looking to steal people’s identities, corporations on the permanent quest of getting you to buy more stuff, and governments stockpiling data. The software allows you to connect to a secure international server from which you can hide your real IP address; this keeps your location private. In addition, a VPN will encrypt all your data in an encryption tunnel, making it extraordinarily difficult for members of the Five, Nine, or Fourteen Eyes alliances to get their hands on it.

This being said, not all VPNs give you the same level of protection. You want to find VPNs outside 14 eyes alliance country. You don’t want your VPN to be under surveillance as part of the information-sharing partnership.

The Five Eyes Alliance

The Five Eyes alliance (sometimes referred to as FVEY). It was the first intelligence coalition to have been created post world war two and contained five members: the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America, and Canada. These five nations developed systems of intercepting digital and electronic communications as well as surveillance methods and agreed to collect and share the information they found with each other. These nations worked together all throughout the Cold War to intercept and decrypt intelligence related to the Soviet Union.

Newer focuses include Middle Eastern Countries and China. Monitoring systems developed rapidly, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the public became aware of the Five Eyes agreement.

This alliance is of concern to regular citizens, not just spies and government agencies. Leaks from Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed that government agencies were collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of people along with tapping into servers of major internet firms, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Members of the Five Eyes were found to be actively spying on their own citizens, with the NSA (National Security Agency) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) being particularly intense. In instances where spying on one’s own population is not allowed (in the UK, this is illegal), members of the alliance can ask other members to spy on their behalf. This means the US can spy on UK citizens and share the information with the GCHQ without any laws being broken.

There have been two expansions of the Five Eyes coalition, which are referred to as the Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes. This means that even more people are being watched and studied by government agencies.

The Nine Eyes Alliance

The Nine Eyes contains the original Five Eyes members as well as four additional nations. These nations are Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Norway.

The Fourteen Eyes Alliance

The Fourteen Eyes alliance contains the nine countries that were part of the Nine Eyes alliance plus five more. The five countries added were: Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

What Does This Have To Do With A VPN?

The above information has hopefully made it clear that everything you do online is likely being tracked (probably by several parties for a variety of purposes). Using a VPN is often the first step people take when they want to protect their online privacy.

vp2 14-Eyes Alliance Explained - How To Choose the Right VPN

vp2 14-Eyes Alliance Explained - How To Choose the Right VPN

Additional Features

You might also want to find a provider that has a transparent, no-logs policy. This means that while some of your data might be kept for functional purposes, your VPN won’t keep any logs of your sensitive information. If a government requests a VPN provider to share information, they won’t have anything on you to share.

The above information should help you understand that, foremost, you are being spied on by government agencies and that, secondly, there are steps you can take to prevent this spying. You might be thinking that it doesn’t matter if your government is collecting this information, seeing as you’re not doing anything wrong. This might be true and accurate for the moment, but every nation occasionally gets a terrible leader who leans heavily towards tyranny. It might not happen in your lifetime, or it might happen in the next election cycle. Think of the worst leaders in history—would you want any of these people to have access to your personal information?