The History of 5 Eyes Alliance

Our private lives are no longer private. Especially in the current digital era, online privacy is almost non-existent. Did you know that the Government is secretly monitoring all your activities for decades? Yes, you read it right! The Government has been spying on you for so many years without your knowledge or consent. To be precise, it all started during World War II. The United States and the United Kingdom formalized a partnership between them for gathering and sharing data intelligence. They co-operated with radio transmitters to intercept enemy exchanges. That’s when the concept of sharing intelligence was born.

As the intelligence agreement between the US and the UK worked well, they decided to expand it by adding three more countries – Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. And, that’s how the 5 Eyes alliance came to existence. The intelligence sharing agreement was originally designed for the benefit of nations participating in the cold war. But soon as it expanded, it included information relating to the internet activity.

5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes – An Introduction

Commonly known as the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes community, these partnerships refer to a set of countries grouped together to share intelligence from agencies like the NSA or the CIA. Let’s dissect these three alliances to understand the countries involved in each of them.

  • 5 Eyes Country: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • 9 Eyes Country: Five Eyes Country + Denmark, France, Holland, Norway
  • 14 Eyes Country: Nine Eyes Country + Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Spain

As you could probably see, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes are just the extensions of the 5-Eye program.

The 5 Eyes community is one of the largest data surveillance systems in history, dating back to World War II. Since spying on their own citizens is unconstitutional in these countries, the 5 Eyes countries spy on each other’s citizens and swap the surveilled data. This intelligence alliance was behind the 2013 Global surveillance disclosure scandal when people realized that their online activities were intercepted by the NSA and other agencies from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Because of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing, people became aware of the NSA’s PRISM and GCHQ’s TEMPORA programs.

5 eyes 9 eyes 14 eyes explained

idea Quick Fact: Did you know that the 5 Eyes community has targeted so many popular figures, apart from the common folks? Some of them include Angela Merkel, Charlie Chaplin, Nelson Mandela, and Princess Diana.

In the latter days, a system called ECHELON was set up by the 5 Eyes alliance. Initially, ECHELON tapped phone conversations. Later as technology evolved, it began to spy on satellite information and optic fiber communications. Unfortunately, the Government has turned the internet as a tool for surveilling everyone.

Why Should You Worry About the Five Eyes Program?

Before answering this question, we would like to share something that might freak you out. A BBC documentary that was made in 1987 revealed that these intelligence agencies were capable of making two million intercepts every single hour. These spying agencies track keywords and even messaging patterns of people. If you are extremely privacy-conscious, someone snooping into your personal text messages or phone conversations will bother you so much.

In the United States, the Government has been implementing mass surveillance strategies with some large telecom companies and ISPs. In 2017, ISPs were given legal rights to monitor and sell user activities to third parties.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, ISPs and renowned telecom companies have been tracking people’s browsing history and text messages since the Investigatory Powers Act came into force in 2016.

Now, let’s understand something important. We live in a world where technology is almost everything. We rely on popular social media, emailing, texting, and video calling applications for our entertainment and communication needs. Have you ever thought if these third-party service providers are reliable? Unfortunately, most of them are not trustworthy when it comes to privacy. Even your ISP is known to monitor your online activities without your knowledge. If you are conscious enough, you would understand the fact that your smartphones and even webcams can be used to spy on you and gather your personal information.

The 5 Eyes Program and VPN Users

Most VPN users will be familiar with the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes data surveillance programs. When a VPN is based in the 5 Eyes community, it means that it secretly keeps user logs despite promising an absolute no-log policy. Government agencies from the 5 Eyes countries are desperate to spy on their citizens to collect and store personal information. They work closely with your ISP, telecom provider, and sometimes even your VPN provider to tap sensitive information for data surveillance. These spying agencies are so dangerous that they can force your ISP and VPN providers to hand over user data under secret orders.

The primary role of a VPN is to keep you safe and anonymous online. With that said, not all VPNs are created equal. Most VPN services claim to protect your online privacy, but their actual logging practices may vary. If your online activity is logged, there’s a chance that your online activities might be traced back to you personally. If you want to keep your online identity private and protected, you need to go for a no-logs VPN.

VPN logs fall under three major categories.

Connection logs – These logs record non-sensitive data like the IP address of the VPN server, bandwidth, and timestamps. Connection logs are most likely free from privacy abuse.

Traffic Logs – Traffic logs include information like browser history and download. They can pose a potential risk when it comes to privacy.

IP Logs – You should never go for a VPN that logs your IP address. Providers can easily find your location and phone number if they have a track of your real IP.

Here is a good rule of thumb for choosing a reliable VPN provider.

  • Try to avoid providers from the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes jurisdiction if you are very much concerned about your privacy
  • Go for a VPN provider that promises and practices an absolute no-data logging policy.
  • Avoid free VPNs, as most of them are known to gather user data and share it with third parties like government agencies.
  • Choose an independently audited VPN provider that guarantees a true no-logs policy.

Countries where VPN is Legal

vpn legal countries

Top VPNs Outside 5 Eyes

Here is the list of top VPN providers that are away from the prying eyes of the data surveillance programs.

1. NordVPN

  • Panama-based VPN provider.
  • It has more than 5300 servers across 59 countries.
  • Offer double data encryption.
  • Hassle-free 30-day refund.
  • Follows a strict no-log policy.

2. ExpressVPN

  • Based in the British Virgin Islands.
  • 5000 high-speed servers in 80+ countries.
  • Provides business plans.
  • Strict no-logs policy.
  • Excellent cross-platform compatibility.

3. Surfshark VPN

  • Based in the British Virgin Islands.
  • 1000+ servers in 60+ countries.
  • Strict no-log policy.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • Streaming-friendly VPN

4. PureVPN

  • Operates in Hong Kong.
  • 2000+ servers in 140+ locations.
  • Strict no-logs policy.
  • Responsive chat support.
  • Affordable subscription plans.

5. SaferVPN

  • Based in Israel.
  • 700+ servers in 30+ countries.
  • Good connection speeds.
  • Offers business VPNs.
  • Good customer support.

6. IvacyVPN

  • Based in Singapore.
  • 1000+ servers in 50+ countries.
  • Absolute no-log policy.
  • Good encryption protocols.
  • GDRP complaint

7. CyberGhost

  • Based in Romania.
  • 5700+ servers in 90+locations.
  • Blocks malicious content.
  • User-friendly client.
  • 45-day moneyback policy.

8. CactusVPN

  • Based in Moldova.
  • Offers shared static IP address.
  • Strict no-log policy.
  • DNS and WebRTC leak protection.
  • Friendly Smart DNS feature.

9. EarthVPN

  • Based in North Cyprus.
  • 10-multi connections.
  • Malware protection and ad blocker available.
  • Unlimited server switches.
  • No data logging.


  • Based in Malaysia.
  • 1400+ servers in 50+locations.
  • Strong encryption protocols.
  • No log policy.
  • Comes with a free plan.


As a privacy champion, both local and international surveillance programs might worry you so much. You can always overcome the fear of being tracked or monitored by choosing a reliable VPN that comes with rich security features. Choose a VPN that saves you from intelligence surveillance and enjoy absolute internet freedom.