Explaining the 5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes rings

5 eyes 9 eyes 14 eyes alliances vpn privacy

The terms “5 eyes”, “9 eyes” and “14 eyes” refer to joint efforts between (mostly Western) countries that exchange confidential data. These countries gather information about their citizens and share it with each other when necessary. 

In other words, they spy on their citizens themselves. Collecting data at this level can be very useful, for example, when trying to locate a terrorist or international criminal. However, this often interferes with our privacy.

If you want to browse the internet anonymously, you should start using a VPN. Due to the 5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes alliances, it is important to choose a VPN operator that is not located in one of the countries that are part of these alliances. 

After all, if they are located elsewhere, they will not be subject to these laws that invade your privacy. Therefore, they will be able to better protect your privacy. The  ExpressVPN is a good option to consider:

Do you want to know more about the 5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes rings? Keep reading below!

If you are interested in privacy, you may have heard about the terms “5 eyes”, “9 eyes” and “14 eyes”. These terms are used to describe a coalition of countries working together to collect and share all types of data. Basically, these countries have become a quasi-global organization with access to a vast array of information.

If you live in any of the coalition countries, it’s good to know that your government may be sharing information about you with other coalition members. This has major consequences and directly impacts your online privacy. What these 5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes alliance countries do exactly, how they operate and the consequences of their actions on your privacy will be discussed in this article.

The origin of the 5 eyes alliance

The first 5 Eyes alliance was formed around 1940. It started as a union between the United States and the United Kingdom: the so-called UKUSA agreement. The agreement allowed the US and UK to exchange information more easily. Canada, Australia and New Zealand later joined the UKUSA agreement as they were British Commonwealth countries with the same legal system. This is how the 5 eyes alliance, also known as FVEY, was created.

Development of the ECHELON surveillance system

During the Cold War, FVEY developed a system to intercept Soviet communications. This system, called the ECHELON surveillance system, is now used to monitor the communication of billions of citizens around the world.

The general public found out about the ECHELON system in the 1990s, which caused a small scandal in Europe and the United States. The 9/11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror were used to advocate the continuation and even the increase in monitoring practices. From that moment on, the focus of surveillance shifted to the internet. This makes sense as the internet was on the rise and this is where most of our communications take place.

The 5 eyes alliance and the growth of global espionage

Keylogger Hacker

With the expansion of the ECHELON system and the exchange of data between the 5 eyes countries, it became clear that mass surveillance would soon take over the world. Today, communication between government officials and even between ordinary citizens is intercepted and shared with the other 5 Eyes countries on a massive scale. Due to the agreement, the scale of surveillance has been growing every year.

The legislation used in the United States to declare that the NSA is not allowed to spy on its own citizens. Due to the difference in laws in other countries, it is easy for the United States to place a foreign organization, such as one of the countries of the United Kingdom, to spy on its own citizens. Because of the 5 Eyes alliance, the UK can easily share this information with the NSA. This creates a loophole for countries to circumvent their own privacy laws and use mass surveillance with their citizens.

Meanwhile, several new espionage laws have been passed and implemented in several countries. Currently, the US NSA can access phone recordings, track people wherever they are and hack devices if they wish. In addition, the UK has agreed to implement a new law on espionage. Russia and China have agreed to cooperate on (cyber) espionage, to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

5-Eyes Alliance Expansion: 9-Eyes and 14-Eyes Alliance

Over time, the 5 Eyes alliance expanded, and other countries became members as well. These other alliances have grown into a large network of countries that share confidential information among their members. And that includes communication between organizations and citizens.

The 9 Eyes alliance countries include the 5 Eyes countries, in addition to the Netherlands, France, Denmark and Norway. While 9 Eyes is just an expansion of 5 Eyes, collaboration between these 9 countries is much less intense than in 5 Eyes. Finally, there is also the 14 eyes alliance, which also includes Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden. 

The purpose here is also to collect information and share it among members when necessary. However, the collaboration between the members of 14 Eyes is not as intense and absolute as in 9 Eyes and 5 Eyes. Either way, these 14 countries share confidential information among members without much difficulty. Among these shared information is the private communication between us citizens.

Protect yourself from mass surveillance

As much of our everyday life takes place on the internet and online privacy is becoming an important consideration, it is good to be aware of concepts such as the 5, 9 and 14 Eyes alliances. Projects like this can easily invade your privacy. Any government agency in your country may intercept your personal communications. They may later share this information, among other personal data, with government agencies in other countries. Your government can do this without your direct consent.

To protect against these hidden forces, internet users have chosen to use a VPN. VPN is a very effective way to protect your online privacy and hide your data traffic from prying eyes. However, there is one thing to note: if you want to use a VPN specifically to escape the prying eyes of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes alliances, you should select a VPN that is not based in the member countries of those alliances. Here are some examples of  premium VPN providers  that are off the radar of mass surveillance in 14 Eyes countries:


The ExpressVPN  is a giant in marked VPN. This provider is located in the British Virgin Islands. So, you won’t have to worry about 5 Eyes or any other alliance as long as you use this VPN.


Currently, NordVPN is the biggest VPN provider out there. The company’s headquarters are in Panama. This country is not part of the 5, 9 or 14 Eyes.


The CyberGhost is another very popular VPN. This provider has teams in both Romania and Germany. However, its main headquarters are located in Romania, which places it outside the jurisdiction of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes alliances.

Overview of 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes Countries

Below you will find a brief description of the member countries of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances.

United StatesUnited StatesUnited States
United KingdomUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom
New ZealandNew ZealandNew Zealand

Final considerations

The 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes countries form a great western alliance of exchanging confidential information and using mass surveillance. These alliances have become a near-global spy network. 

The agreement between the alliances allows these countries to circumvent their federal privacy laws and manage to collect more information than they should. As a result, if you live in one of these 14 countries, your government may be sharing information and agencies from the other 13 countries. 

So using a VPN to improve your online privacy can be a great idea. A good VPN ensures that no agency intercepts your internet data traffic. You might think you have nothing to hide, but with so many prying eyes on the prowl, who knows what they might see and what your intentions are with your information.