What is The Five Eyes Alliance

What is The Five Eyes Alliance? (New Guide for 2024)

Published on: June 20, 2023
Last Updated: June 20, 2023

What is The Five Eyes Alliance? (New Guide for 2024)

Published on: June 20, 2023
Last Updated: June 20, 2023


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The nations of the globe have formed partnerships to conduct cyber surveillance on their citizens.

They profess to operate for the greater good while disclosing confidential information to their security partners. It is what it implies if you reside in one of these countries.

The United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand comprise the other members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, together with the United Kingdom.

The UKUSA Agreement, in which the countries mentioned above agreed to collaborate for intelligence operations at the beginning of the Cold War, was the basis of the idea.

They obtain information by monitoring consumers’ internet activities, obtaining it from ISPs and other web trackers, and by tapping phone calls.

Leaks from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 revealed that the Five Eyes Alliance illegally spied on the most private moments of its citizens and operated several secret monitoring programs.

What Is Privacy?

Depending on the situation, privacy is a fundamental human right and a collection of values and activities.

It is merely removing oneself from the sight and hearing of others. It involves the ability to object to unwanted public attention or unauthorized invasions into one’s personal life and job.

Similarly, online privacy relates to our online existence. Our lives concentrate on the Internet, much like the actual world.

Currently, five billion people have an internet connection. Some contend that we are more accessible online than offline as a species.

VPN Controlling Factors

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Before we go into the complexities of the multiple “Eyes” alliances, let’s examine a few key things concerning virtual private networks (VPNs):

1. VPN Jurisdiction

The laws and regulations set by your government dictate whether or not you can access a VPN in your country.

Each country can permit or prohibit VPN use, and your only real alternative would be to relocate to a nation with more favorable privacy laws.

2. VPN Provider Location

You may find their physical location here. A VPN service provider is not required to be situated in the same country as its VPN servers.

By utilizing a server in a foreign country, it is possible to circumvent certain VPN jurisdictional concerns.

3. VPN Server Location

This location is where the VPN servers are actually located.

Most good VPNs have many servers located across the world to provide you with a higher level of anonymity, as well as improved performance and security options.

History Of Five Eyes Alliance

Five Eyes Alliance

An alliance was established in 1946 involving five anglophone nations and their respective security agencies: the United States of America (NSA), the United Kingdom (GCHQ), Australia (ASD), Canada (CSEC), and New Zealand (GCSB).

This alliance consisted of a number of diplomatic conventions on monitoring and the sharing of intelligence.

There are many, many documents that make up the Five Eyes alliance that is designated as the United Kingdom – United States Communications Intelligence Act (UKUSA).

Every one of the Five Eyes countries undertakes surveillance, gathering, acquisition, assessment, and encryption activities, exchanging all intelligence data received with the others.

Since the partnership of the Five Eyes was first established, information about it has been gradually revealed.

Now we see that Five Eyes has integrated programs, integrated personnel, integrated headquarters, and integrated intelligence.

The Cold War and the Five Eyes.

During the time that the USA and the Soviet Union were engaged in the conflict known as the Cold War, their different allied forces came together to form this alliance.

During the entire duration of the Cold War, clandestine intelligence activities were not only prevalent but frequently served as the primary source of revenue for the various parties engaged.

Consequently, alliances were required to share secret intelligence about their foes on all potential fronts.

In the situation of Five Eyes, according to political science scholar Andrew O’Neil, alliance participants have collaborated in “ocean spying, cyber warfare, personal intelligence operations, and disinformation” since the 1960s, in addition to the ECHELON monitoring program.

During the time of the Cold War, the countries that made up the Five Eyes intelligence network frequently discussed their findings with other governments located in Asia and in Europe.

These nations were referred to as “third-party companies.”

Ken Kotani, a Japanese researcher, told the East Asia Forum that the USA and Japan exchanged military information during the 1969 Sino-Soviet confrontation and the 1979 Soviet-led operation of Afghanistan.

What Does The Five Eyes Alliance Do Today?

Since electronic conversations have become the norm, there are greater opportunities than ever before to collect intelligence on virtually everyone.

For the sake of public safety, large firms in privileged positions, such as Internet Service Providers, can be compelled to gather and exchange as much consumer information as possible.

If this occurs in a Five Eyes member state, the information can then be made accessible to all other members.

In the end, that won’t seem particularly enticing to most people, and it’s understandable that individuals around the world want to restore and maintain their privacy.

Consequently, the use of privacy software to anonymize online activity has grown in popularity, and while VPNs are only one step in the process, they are a simple and effective first line of defense against ISP and government surveillance.

Nevertheless, not all VPNs are equal.

What Can You Do To Avoid The Five Eyes Alliance?

Five Eyes Alliance

While numerous techniques conceal your internet activity, a virtual private network can be particularly useful in thwarting unwarranted surveillance by the Five Eyes Alliance (VPN).

VPNs are permitted in all Five Eyes nations.

A VPN conceals your online behavior by routing your data through its own encrypted servers rather than the commercial servers of your ISP.

If someone attempted to decipher your traffic, they would find it to be complete nonsense.

Private surfing tabs, such as Incognito mode, DO NOT conceal your browser activity from your ISP. It merely prevents your action from being recorded in the device’s history.

How Will This Impact VPN Users?

The intelligence-sharing activities of these nations have far-reaching consequences for internet users and VPNs in particular.

It is safe to assume that if one of these 14 countries acquires access to your online data, it will be shared with other nations.

When utilizing a VPN, everything depends on who has jurisdiction over your online behavior. There are other dimensions to consider.

Where are you physically located? Where is the server located? Or the location of the VPN provider’s business.

If you truly value your safety, you should be familiar with the laws and customs of all three.

With digital communications being the norm, there are more options than ever before to capture information on virtually everyone who uses a telephone, smartphone, or the Internet.

Moreover, the existence of these agreements facilitates the sharing of these data across all member nations.

As revealed by the Snowden leaks, one of the most troubling aspects of these alliances is that they permit governments to eavesdrop on their own citizens.

As members of the Five Eyes, the GCHQ of the United Kingdom cannot legally spy on its citizens, but it can request this information from the NSA of the United States.

This facilitates the circumvention of domestic privacy regulations for the sake of mass monitoring.

New advances in domestic espionage laws, such as the 2016 introduction of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act, have permitted even more invasive surveillance techniques.

Are VPNs In The Five Eyes Countries Secure?

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Sometimes, VPNs in Five Eyes states are even more secure than VPNs placed outside of this partnership.

There is a common misperception in the VPN market that trusting a VPN provider located in one of the Five Eyes nations is the worst privacy decision you can make. 

This is the scenario portrayed by several rival VPN providers: government intelligence services are monitoring your every keystroke because you mistakenly chose a VPN provider based in the incorrect country.

Regrettably, while these VPN providers are fixated on the narrative of governmental surveillance based on myths and half-truths, they are ignoring the more pressing concerns that their customers have, namely technological and legal safeguards.

Although it is hard to know everything about the Five Eyes, these are the two most prevalent myths that have been disproved over the years.

Utilizing VPN Servers In 5 Eyes Countries

VPN providers in countries beyond the 5/9/14 Eyes authority are frequently queried about their legal status.

Then it uses it to connect to a server in a country within that jurisdiction, such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

Without becoming overly technical, there is some risk involved here. The service provider may be required to produce connection logs if the FVEY nation chooses to do so.

On the other hand, the danger ought to be reasonably low if the VPN provider is taking the appropriate safety procedures with regard to their underlying infrastructure.

Those who wish to minimize their exposure to the expansive authority of these intelligence organizations should adopt the strategy with the lowest risk.

That would mean connecting to servers located outside of the area of the 5/9/14 Eyes both through a provider located outside of that jurisdiction AND directly accessing servers located outside of that jurisdiction.

Are Worries About The Five Eyes Countries Exaggerated?

While Washington and GCHQ’s intelligence-gathering capabilities are powerful, they are mostly focused on specific security risks and interests, not ordinary online users.

We’re more concerned about cyber-crime and theft than government intrusion, and our VPN jurisdiction doesn’t really matter when it comes to dealing with these dangers.

Second, the Five Eyes nations have not taken direct action to control VPNs. Their efforts are concentrated mostly on Internet service providers, traditional traffic, and cell phone networks.

VPNs currently have extremely few data retention restrictions. If they indicate that they maintain logs or fail to make it obvious that they do not, that is their choice, not the states.

In accordance with the legislative framework in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, VPNs operated in 5 eyes nations tend to be open about their identities and how to contact them.

This must be weighed against non-5 eyes controllers, who are often unclear about who they are and how they operate.

Therefore, when selecting a VPN jurisdiction, it is reasonable to examine how harmful the five eyes are.

Keep in mind, however, that we simply do not know the entire extent of how VPNs communicate with organizations such as the NSA, and given the historical behavior of governments, there is a good likelihood that VPNs in 5 eyes countries have working contacts with spies.

Recommended VPN Service Providers (That Lie In The Safe Jurisdictions)

  1. NordVPN – 🏆 Winner!
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. CyberGhost

1. NordVPN


NordVPN is one of the largest VPN services available. The headquarters of their company is located in Panama.

This nation does not belong to the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes alliances.

  • Exceptional security and a vast server network
  • Appealing and elegant presentation
  • No logs.

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  • 5,442+ servers in 60+ countries
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Next-generation military-grade encryption
  • DoubleVPN, double privacy
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
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2. ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN is a significant player in the VPN industry. The location of this provider is the British Virgin Islands.

If you constantly utilize this VPN, you will have less need to be concerned about 5 Eyes and other partnerships.

  • Extremely quick and simple VPN
  • Ideal for browsing, downloading, and streaming anonymously (i.e., Netflix)
  • More than 3000 servers in 94 nations.

3. CyberGhost


CyberGhost is another well-known VPN service. This provider has both Romanian and German-based staff.

However, its headquarters are in Romania, placing them outside the authority of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes. You can learn more about CyberGhost by reading our comprehensive review.

  • Very user-friendly
  • Premium quality at a low cost
  • Both BitTorrent and Netflix are viable.

The Bottom Line

There are five eavesdropping nations: Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States of America.

The UKUSA Agreement, in which the countries mentioned above agreed to collaborate for signals intelligence at the beginning of the Cold War, was the basis of the idea. 

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They obtain information by monitoring consumers’ internet activities, obtaining it from ISPs and other web trackers, and tapping phone calls.

While numerous techniques conceal your internet activity, a virtual private network can be particularly useful in thwarting unwarranted surveillance by the Five Eyes Alliance (VPN). 

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.

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