Everything You Need to Know About 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Countries

14 Eyes alliance BannerCertain states have signed international information-sharing agreements, which can pose a risk to your online privacy. These states have formed alliances that are known as 5/9/14 eyes alliance.

Many VPN users aren’t even aware of their existence, so raising awareness is essential. Although it might sound complicated at first, we’ve ensured to cover the most important points about these alliances and their jurisdiction.

What is the 14 Eyes alliance?

The five eyes alliance dates back to the 1940s. It is a pact between intelligence agencies that came out of the UKUSA Agreement. By the late 1950s, the Alliance welcomed new members ‒ Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Over time, this agreement has broadened to even monitoring online activities. Just after the nine eyes alliance was exposed in 2003, people found out about two more agreements between surveillance agencies. These two alliances are also known as the nine eyes alliance and the fourteen eyes alliance.

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The whole purpose of creating this network is to enforce an international collaboration of intelligence agencies. That enables them to collect and share mass surveillance information through working with internet-related entities, such as national internet service providers. All three of the pacts mentioned above’ effect on the users’ online privacy will make you raise an eyebrow.

So, let’s discover which countries are under the Alliance’s jurisdiction.

Country-by-country guide to VPN jurisdiction

Although the fourteen eyes network might seem mighty, don’t worry. The majority of the world doesn’t belong in this group, except for a couple of third-party contributors.

If you’d like to check whether your country is a part of the fourteen eyes agreement, then keep on reading.

Is Australia a Part of 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Australia is a member of the fourteen eyes alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in Australia? Yes.
  • Although VPN usage is completely legal in Australia, because of its membership, all data that is stored on local VPN servers is subject to surveillance protocols.
  • Popular VPNs in Australia: CeloVPNVPNSecureMe, ExpressVPN

Is Brazil a Part of the 14 Eyes Countries?

  • Brazil is not a member of the fourteen eyes network.
  • Are VPNs legal in Brazil? Yes.
  • Although VPNs are technically legal in Brazil, there have been some concerns in regards to different forms of internet censorship. The country’s government has tried to introduce restrictions in the past, including the WhatsApp ban in 2015. However, these decisions were quickly overturned.
  • Popular VPNs in Brazil: ExpressVPN, PrivateVPN, Surfshark

Is Canada a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, Canada is a member of the five eyes alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in Canada? Yes.
  • Canada is very freedom-oriented and is considered to be among the happiest countries on the planet. Its government has also shown support for net neutrality. However, since it is a part of the five eyes, the data stored in the country is subject to intelligence-sharing agreements.
  • Popular VPNs in Canada: TunnelBear, PureVPN, SurfEasy

Is China a Part of 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • China is not a member of the alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in China? No.
  • China is notorious for its censorship efforts. Only government-approved VPNs can be used. If a person is caught using any other type of VPN, they will be persecuted and fined. For personal safety, we advise you to use only proven VPNs in China.
  • Popular VPNs in China: TurboVPN

Is Panama a Part of 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Panama is not a member of the fourteen eyes agreement.
  • Are VPNs legal in Panama? Yes.
  • Panama supports both the freedom of the press and freedom of speech. However, corruption is one of the main issues in this country. In the past, there were instances where the government attempted to cut off internet access in unstable areas. Other than that, Panama usually enjoys unobstructed internet access.
  • Popular VPNs in Panama: NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Cyberghost

Is Switzerland in the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Switzerland is not a member of the fourteen eyes agreement.
  • Are VPNs legal in Switzerland? Yes.
  • Switzerland is known for supporting internet freedom and privacy. Any breaches of privacy are illegal. That means that the Swiss government doesn’t monitor any online communication. However, on a recent referendum, nearly 70% of citizens have supported the bill that enables the state to monitor the citizens’ online activities legally.
  • Popular VPNs in Switzerland: ProtonVPN, ExpressVPN, VyprVPN

Is the UK a Part of 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • The UK is the founding member of the alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in the UK? Yes.
  • The protection of privacy is essential in the UK. However, citizens are noticing an increase in interest to enforce government and police surveillance. The government states that these efforts are solely to prevent terrorism and child abuse.
  • Popular VPNs in the UK: SaferVPN, ExpressVPN

Is the USA a Part of 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • The USA is the founding member of the alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in the USA? Yes.
  • America is known to supports freedom of speech and privacy. However, there have been a couple of controversies to ISP data monitoring. Recently, the country has introduced laws that expand the scope for ISP monitoring by intelligence agencies.
  • Popular VPNs in the USA: IPVanish, PrivateTunnel, NordVPN

Which Other Countries Belong to this Network?

  • Five eyes: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia
  • Nine eyes: Five eyes + Holland, France, Norway, Denmark
  • Fourteen eyes: Nine eyes + Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden

Third-Party Contributors:

Although the countries below don’t officially belong to these alliances, there have been instances in the past where these third parties were caught or suspected of collaborating with them.

Third-party collaborators:

  • Japan ‒ Although the contribution to the alliance hasn’t been confirmed, Japanese intelligence was known to collaborate with the US in the past.
  • Singapore ‒ There have been reports of Singapore working closely with the five eyes alliance.
  • Israel ‒ Although it’s not an official member, there are a lot of known cases of Israel collaborating with US surveillance initiatives.

Best VPN Solutions Outside the Five Eyes Alliance

If you’re worried about your online safety and anonymity, then using a VPN is a great solution.

However, some companies might be subject to these intelligence-sharing agreements, so make sure to check that before downloading. If you’re wondering what is the best VPN outside 14 eyes, then check out our list:

№1 ExpressVPN

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ExpressVPN is a popular VPN service provider across the globe. Because of its speed, it is most often used to bypass geo-restrictions and stream foreign content.

The company follows a strict no-logging policy; hence, it is entirely unable to share any information about its users with other governments.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, and it utilizes AES 256-CBC military-grade encryption, as well as a wide variety of leak-proof protocols.

 

№2 NordVPN

nordvpn

NordVPN is based in Panama, a country that doesn’t belong to the fourteen eyes network.

That means that all data that goes through the system is not logged and can’t be sent to any governments.

It comes with a handy set of security features, some of which include 2048-bit encryption alongside robust leak protection protocols.

It is available worldwide, and it’s most commonly used to access restricted content, no wonder it got onto the list of the top VPNs for Netflix.

Visit NordVPN

№3 CyberGhost

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CyberGhost is based in Romania, which is known to be privacy-amiable.

The company enforces a strict no-log policy, which ensures that its users are, in fact, always anonymous.

It uses AES-256 encryption, and it offers a wide variety of servers. Users can install them on nearly any device – iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, etc.

Visit CyberGhost

VyprVPN

vyprvpn

VyprVPN originates from Switzerland, another country that is known to be very strict when it comes to internet privacy.

However, unlike the previous three VPN solutions on the list, VyprVPN keeps some user data for 30 days, in case some billing or troubleshooting issues arise.

VyprVPN features 256-bit encryption that’s combined with a NAT Firewall.

Trust Zone

trust-zone-vpn

Trust Zone is a VPN provider that’s based in the Seychelles, which is outside the Alliance’s jurisdiction.

Some of the features include an impressive OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec security protocols, stable server options, and an additional kill switch.

The company also follows a strict no-log policy.

The History of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliance

This intelligence-sharing network stemmed from a post-WWII pact between the US and the UK.  It emerged from an agreement that was related to the 1941 Atlantic Charter, and it was officially enacted on 5 March 1946.

The initial goal was to spy on foreign governments. As time progressed, more countries joined these efforts, and the internet became their main point of interest.

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This became a foundation for a partnership between NSA and SIGINT Seniors (Signals Intelligence) agencies. 

These alliances were kept as a secret until 2003, but they became even more notorious after Edward Snowden leaked sensitive documents in 2013.

The documents shed light on an extensive mass surveillance program that was established by the government.

Do These Alliances Affect VPN Users’ Privacy?

If you’re based in any of the allied countries, the government’s laws enable it to collect your data and potentially share it with other member countries. 

Most would argue that these organizations are the jurisdiction enemy of the internet.

When choosing a suitable VPN solution, first check whether the use of this software is permittable by law, and then, check whether the company is based in any of the member countries.

If it’s based in a member-country, then the VPN provider might be forced to hand over user information.

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