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

Certain 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 the 5/9/14 eyes alliance.

Many VPN users aren’t even aware of their existence, so raising awareness is essential.

20% of VPN users have already been utilizing VPN services to hide browsing activity from the government, according to the VPNGeeks statistics.

Although it might sound complicated initially, 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 from 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 monitor online activities. After the nine eyes alliance was exposed in 2003, people discovered two more agreements between surveillance agencies. These two alliances are also known as the nine eyes alliance and the fourteen eyes alliance.

ukusa-community

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

VPN, its implementation, and its usage are bound by certain conditions, and before you think of using a VPN, you must understand what your country’s law has to say about VPNs.  Well, I have simplified the job with this extensive guide that explains the VPN jurisdiction status in the top countries where VPNs is widely used.

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 the 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, all data stored on local VPN servers is subject to surveillance protocols because of its membership in the 14 Eyes Alliance.
  • Popular VPNs in Australia: CeloVPN, VPNSecureMe, 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 regarding 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: ExpressVPNPrivateVPNSurfshark

Is Belarus a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No, Belarus is not a part of it.
  • Are VPNs legal in Belarus? No.
  • Belarus doesn’t restrict internet usage, but the government keeps an eye on the kind of online content that is live and users’ access. If anything suspicious is spotted, the government takes no time to block that website/webpage.
  • When such strict restrictions are imposed on internet usage, it’s foolish to expect VPNs to be legal. Its usage is illegal in Belarus, and the government will impose hefty fines on someone who is using VPN.

Is Belgium a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, Belgium is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in Belgium? Yes.
  • Belgium is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance and puts zero restrictions on internet usage. VPNs are also offered to the end users. But make sure that you’re not using VPN for any illegal activities.
  • If one is got red-handed while doing holocaust denials and hatred offenses, then get ready to face trial and punishment.

Is Bulgaria a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Bulgaria? Yes.
  • Bulgaria is a country that grants freedom of speed to its citizens. Press is also granted full freedom. VPN usage is very common in Bulgaria. In fact, while you’re accessing the internet in this part of the world, it’s wise to use a VPN as electronic data is used without any government monitoring. Hackers may be ready to seize you in their claws.
  • VPNArea is the most famed VPN in this country.

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 considered 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 the 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 using only proven VPNs in China.
  • Popular VPNs in China: TurboVPN

Is the Czech Republic a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in the Czech Republic? Yes.
  • If you reside in the Czech Republic, then you can use a VPN without any qualms. The country is liberal on using the internet. However, the country is strict on hate speech, denial of communist-era crimes, and holocaust denial and doesn’t support them.
  • The country doesn’t support using VPNs for child pornography and racism. So, stay aware of your actions while using a VPN.

Is Denmark a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Denmark is a member of the 9 and 14 Eyes alliances.
  • Are VPNs legal in Denmark? Yes.
  • It supports the use of VPNs by all means. Because of its alliance with 9 and 14 Eyes, online activities are tracked and recorded. So, don’t expect 100% secrecy.
  • Even if a VPN claims to offer a zero-log policy, it can disclose crucial information if prompted by the government. Denmark grants full freedom to the policy and law to stop crimes like child pornography and racism.

Is Finland a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Finland? Yes.
  • Finland is a VPN-friendly country-Secure Freedom is the most famous VPN in Finland. Neither internet usage nor VPN usage is restricted in this country.

Is France a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, France is a member of 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes.
  • Are VPNs legal in France? Yes.
  • Being a member of 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes, France logs the online activities of the users. VPNs of this will keep user logs. So, the zero-log policy is a myth here.

Is Germany a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, Germany is a member of 14 Eyes.
  • Are VPNs legal in Germany? Yes.
  • VPNs are allowed to be used in this country. The German government keeps a continual watch on national and international online activities. So, ensure you don’t do something that can put you behind bars. It also forces VPNs to retain the end-user data.
  • VPNs like Avira Phantom and Zenmate are very famous here.

Is Gibraltar a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Gibraltar? Yes.
  • Gibraltar supports the usage of VPNs. The country is under the supervision of UK law and is likely to log online activities.
  • IVPN and Buffered VPNs have a vast customer base in this country.

Is Greece a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Greece? Yes.
  • Greece protects the freedom of speech and doesn’t block or censor online content. The privacy law does not apply to internet communication. But, when appropriate, police can keep track of online activities and record the details.
  • ZoogVPN is a top-rated VPN in this county.

Is Iran a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Iran? Legal only if government-approved VPNs are used.
  • Iran is a tough country when it comes to internet and VPN usage. You can’t use any VPN. Only those that are government-approved are legal to use.
  • If you use a non-approved VPN, then you have to face 1-year imprisonment. And keep in mind that you will be watched even if you’re using a VPN.

Is Italy a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, Italy is a member of the 14-Eyes Alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in Italy? Yes.
  • Italy doesn’t restrict the usage of VPNs. While you’re free to use a VPN in Italy, you cannot break laws and do something illegal.
  • AirVPN has the widest customer base.

Is Malaysia a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Malaysia? Yes, but with limited capabilities.
  • Malaysia’s government will retain online data for sure. Citizens can use VPN but shouldn’t expect 100% secrecy and anonymity. If asked by law or policy, VPN providers will reveal user data.
  • Hide Me VPN is very famous here.

Is the Netherlands a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, the Netherlands is a member of the 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances.
  •  Are VPNs legal in the Netherlands? Yes.
  • You can use a VPN without any fear. Though internet content is unrestricted, VPN usage will be monitored.
  • Goose VPN is the leading VPN in this country.

Is New Zealand a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, New Zealand is a member of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in New Zealand? Yes.
  • By no means will your VPN usage and online activities be private in New Zealand. The government will keep logs of everything. Without informing, the government will block any user or VPN.

Is Norway a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, Norway is a member of 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes.
  • Are VPNs legal in Norway? Yes.
  • Norway grants unrestricted internet access to its citizens. Opera VPN is a great choice to make while you’re in Norway. VPN usage is legal here. But, a close watch over its usage will be kept.

Is Romania a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Romania? Yes.
  • If you stay in Romania or are here for any other reason, you can use VPN easily as it’s legal. The Internet is also mostly unrestricted. Only a few government-mandated filters to stop child pornography are active. As this country is not a part of any alliance, your online activities won’t be tracked.

Is Russia a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Russia? Legal but users have to use only government-approved VPNs.
  • Russia keeps hold over its citizens’ online activities. The cyberspace of Russia is closely watched by the agencies, and content is filtered heavily. So, you will find many websites blocked here. You can use VPN here but have to pick only government-approved options. As this VPN will keep the user logs, online privacy is impossible in Russia. With such strong restrictions, Russia is often known as the internet enemy.
  • Kaspersky Secure Connection is a widely used VPN option in Russia. Those who use non-approved VPNs are charged with heavy fines and penalties.

Is Panama a Part of the 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 VPN.

Is San Marino a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in San Marino? Yes.
  • The country is not a part of any alliance, so that VPN usage information won’t be retained. Any reliable VPN offered from this country will protect online privacy. Till now, we haven’t encountered any incident where San Marino watched the online activities or shared the data with other countries.
  • San Marino is a VPN-friendly country. SpyOFF is a very famous VPN in San Marino.

Is Seychelles a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • No.
  • Are VPNs legal in Seychelles? Yes.
  • Seychelles is not under the influence of any international intelligence agency and supports the usage of VPN. It is also not a part of the 14 Eyes alliance. So, VPN providers are not guided to record the user data. Hence, you can expect 100% online security and privacy.
  • Many Seychelles VPNs are winning hearts. For instance, we have TrustZone, Astrill VPN, Anonymous VPN, VPNTunnel, and BolehVPN to use.

Is South Korea a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • South Korea is a third-party contributor to 5 Eyes Alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in South Korea? Yes.
  • Though internet activities will be monitored, it’s not as restricted as in North Korea. You can use a VPN here and have the constitutional right to protect your privacy. But, internet and VPN service providers are allowed to keep the real name of the users. Also, the country shared information with the other members of the 5 Eyes alliance. So, you won’t experience 100% privacy in this part of the world.

Is Spain a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, the country is a member of the 14 Eyes alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in Spain? Yes.
  • Spain protects the freedom of speech, personal data, and privacy and lets the citizens use VPN. But, online privacy is not guaranteed as VPNs coming from such alliance countries retain the user data and reveal it to the government. So, keep in mind that you don’t do anything stupid while using a VPN in Spain.

Is Sweden a Part of the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • Yes, Sweden is an active member of the 14 Eyes alliance.
  •  Are VPNs legal in Sweden? Yes.
  • Sweden has a robust system to protect freedom of speech. Here, you can use a VPN without any restrictions. But, you’ll be monitored as police and intelligence agencies are allowed to keep track of other online activities happening in the country. Online privacy is not 100%, even if you use a VPN.

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, in a recent referendum, nearly 70% of citizens supported the bill that enables the state to monitor citizens’ online activities legally.
  • Popular VPNs in Switzerland: ProtonVPN, ExpressVPNVyprVPN

Is the UK a Part of the 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 in enforcing 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 the 14 Eyes Alliance?

  • The USA is the founding member of the alliance.
  • Are VPNs legal in the USA? Yes.
  • America is known to support 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

expressvpn

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 cannot 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 government.

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

cyberghost-vpn

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

№4 VyprVPN

vyprvpn

VyprVPN originates from Switzerland, another country 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 if some billing or troubleshooting issues arise.

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

№5 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 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 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.

NSA_Nato_alliance

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

These alliances were kept 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 the government established.

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, the VPN provider might be forced to hand over user information.

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Author Alexander Klein Foto

Alexander Klein

38 years, Business Analyst


Alex is responsible for the analysis and optimization of our work processes. He has a lot of practical experience and, most importantly, an ability to think strategically. Besides, Alex is aware of new trends in the field of cybersecurity and clarifies them in his spare time.

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