Understand the 5, 9, & 14 Eyes Alliances Before Getting a VPN

Valentine Milner
Last Updated by Valentine Milner on September 21, 2023

Let’s face it, privacy is very important to most people. Lately, it seems like protecting your privacy is becoming nearly impossible in our digital age. Every website you visit and every chat you have can be logged and stored for deeper inspection. Most people believe that if they aren’t doing anything wrong, no one would be interested in what they are doing.

Sadly, between your ISP and various government agencies (big brother) there are a lot of eyes on your every move.

One of the benefits of using a VPN is that it can encrypt your traffic and actions online, making it next to impossible for your data to fall into the wrong hands. But what if your VPN provider is compelled to give over your data to the government. Since they are the one encrypting it, they also have the ciphers to decrypt it.

Infographic presentation of Five, Nine, and 14 Eyes Alliance showing the list of countries for 5 Eyes Alliance, 9 Eyes Alliance, and 14 Eyes Alliance

There is an Alliance that Will Share Your Data Among Various Government Agencies Around the World

We keep hearing phrases like “5 Eyes,” “9 Eyes,” and “14 Eyes” especially as we discuss VPNs. So, what do they mean? While it sounds like the name of the magician coalition, it is really an international surveillance alliance. They represent different countries across the world and work together to gather and share all mass surveillance information. In simpler terms, they act as one global ‘spying’ entity which watches and keeps records of all your activities.

In this detailed guide, we’ll carefully explain all these surveillance alliance systems. We know that they are a crucial factor when picking a suitable VPN service!

Does a VPN’s Jurisdiction Matter?

It’s quite difficult to determine the amount of influence a VPN’s jurisdiction has on your data and privacy. In light of worldwide surveillance alliances overseeing our communications, it’s essential to recognize that opting for an “offshore” VPN service might not deliver the solution you seek.

We recently discovered that the US authorities directed PureVPN, a ‘no logs’ VPN from Hong Kong, to hand over all of a user’s data so that they may arrest and later prosecute the person. What’s quite shocking is that all this took place in country that isn’t part of the 5/9/14 Eyes and with a VPN that promises to keep its clients ‘invisible!”

Stories like these prove that the no logs advertising and marketing strategy does not always show the reality of matters. While it is advisable to stick with VPN that are located in places like Panama and the British Virgin Islands, very pro privacy locations that won’t buckle to the demands of other government agencies, take a few minutes to read through the privacy policy and real user reviews before making any purchases

The Best VPN Service Located Outside the 14 Eyes

The majority of VPNs are based in the 14 Eye countries, specifically within the United States. But that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your privacy. Here are 5 VPNs that don’t store logs and are located in countries that have no affiliation with these 14 eyes.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN logo
British Virgin Island

Screenshot of CyberGhost logo

Romania

Screenshot of Trust.Zone logo
Seychelles
Screenshot of IvacyVPN logo

Singapore

Screenshot of VyprVPN logo

Switzerland

The VPN Services Found In the 14 Eyes Countries and Their Territories

Here, we’ve put together a list of VPN services in each of the 14 Eyes Countries. Take a look!

Top VPNs Located in the Five Eyes:

  • PIA, IPVanish, Hotspot Shield, HMA, SaferVPN, My Expat Network, Betternet, TunnelBear, SurfEasy, Windscribe, VPN Unlimited

Top VPNs Located in the Nine Eyes:

  • ActiVPN, GooseVPN, BeeVPN, Unlocator, OperaVPN

Here are VPNs we found in the 14 Eyes countries:

  • Avira Phantom VPN, Zenmate, AirVPN, PrivateVPN, Mullvad, 

The Five Eyes Surveillance Alliance

This alliance has a fascinating history which dates all the way back to World War 2 and the UKUSA agreement. This act created an official partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom for sharing vital intelligence. It continued throughout the unpredictable cold war and grew stronger following the never ending  “War on Terror.”

Now, here are the five countries which work hand in hand, collecting and recording all your activities:

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Australia

It’s not surprising that some of these countries are also the most notorious for abusing your online privacy. Do you remember Edward Snowden? In 2013, I revealed the illicit surveillance operations conducted by the United States and its allies. This revelation sparked a renewed examination of the credibility associated with this alliance.

Another disadvantage of choosing a VPN in these five eyes countries is that your data is never really kept private. This is because they force all companies to forward user data. In fact, the situation is quite severe in the United States where authorities use gag orders to demand such information.

The Nine Eyes

Countries in this surveillance alliance include all the five eyes nations plus:

  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Norway

These countries participate in different ways. For instance, Denmark gave the NSA the license to install fiber-optic cables entering and leaving the country. In return, the NSA provided the Danish intelligence access to all its technology and hardware. All in all, these countries as well as the first five are all nations you should avoid when selecting a VPN!

The 14 Eyes

The 14 Eyes Surveillance nations include the previous nine plus:

  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • Spain

The official title of this alliance is SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR). It was created to extend the recording and sharing of data to these countries.

Our Final Thoughts!

I have been provided with the necessary information regarding the five, nine, and 14 eyes countries, as well as VPN jurisdiction. Thank you for sharing this knowledge about your organization and readers. It’s also worth noting that the United States has the largest number of VPN services in the world.

However, we highly recommend that you pick a VPN provider outside these alliances for better protection and privacy. After all, you don’t want someone ‘spying’ on you as you surf through the internet, right?


Summary: Top VPNs Located Outside The Surveillance Alliances (Updated 2024)

Top Ranked Top Choice
ExpressVPN
6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
2.03 / month Save 84%
Private Internet Access
$2.03 / month Save 83%
HMA VPN
$4.39 / month Save 37%
IPVanish VPN
3.25 / month Save 75%

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.

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