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5, 9, and 14 Eyes Alliances

Is the government watching me? To bolster their surveillance and intelligence capabilities, many nations have joined forces, forming alliances that share information from their intelligence agencies, like: CIA, MI6, and DGSE to compete with the likes of MSS and in some cases Mossad. These alliances, known by names like "5 Eyes," "9 Eyes," and "14 Eyes," operate as global networks of surveillance that can leave us feeling uneasy.

Surveillance cameras

These intelligence alliances facilitate the sharing of resources, technology, and information among member nations, extending their surveillance reach beyond national borders. Through interconnected systems, they gain access to an extensive range of data, enabling them to monitor and analyze various forms of communication, online activities, and even physical movements on a global scale.


The 5 Eyes alliance


The 5 Eyes alliance, also known as FVEY (Five Eyes), is an international intelligence-sharing agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The alliance was formed in the aftermath of World War II and is considered to be the most well-known and oldest of these types of agreements.


The primary goal of the 5 Eyes alliance is to share intelligence and surveillance information among the participating countries in order to improve their defense against potential threats such as terrorism, organized crime and cyber attacks. This includes the sharing of signals intelligence, imagery intelligence, human intelligence, and open-source intelligence.


The 5 Eyes alliance is considered to be one of the most comprehensive and long-standing intelligence-sharing agreements in the world, it is also considered to be the most active and advanced, with cooperation between the participating countries being both wide-ranging and deep. The countries involved have a close relationship in terms of intelligence sharing, and they have developed a high level of trust and cooperation over the years.


One of the key features of the 5 Eyes alliance is the UKUSA Agreement, also known as the "UK-USA Security Agreement" which was first signed in 1946, this agreement established the framework for intelligence sharing and cooperation among the 5 countries. The agreement also includes the sharing of access to communication facilities and technologies, such as satellite systems, allowing for more effective collection and sharing of intelligence.


The 5 Eyes alliance has been involved in a number of high-profile intelligence-gathering operations, the most notable is ECHELON, a global surveillance network, operated by the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, that is capable of intercepting and analyzing all forms of communication, including telephone, fax and email. The program, which was first revealed in the late 1990s, has raised concerns about privacy and civil liberties, as it allows the participating countries to conduct surveillance on individuals and organizations worldwide.


It's important to note that the 5 Eyes alliance is not a formal organization and does not have a specific budget or formalized structure. Cooperation and information-sharing among the five countries are carried out through regular meetings and informal arrangements.


It plays a role in the defense and security of the participating countries, however, it also has implications for privacy, and civil liberties, as it allows the participating countries to share information and conduct surveillance on each other's citizens.



The 9 Eyes alliance


The 9 Eyes alliance is an expansion of the 5 Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement, which includes Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Norway. Like the 5 Eyes alliance, the 9 Eyes alliance allows participating countries to share intelligence and surveillance information in order to improve their defense against potential threats such as terrorism, organized crime, and cyber attacks.


The 9 Eyes alliance was formed in the 1950s as a way to expand the intelligence-sharing capabilities of the 5 Eyes alliance and strengthen cooperation among the participating countries. The 9 Eyes countries have a close relationship with the 5 Eyes countries and share intelligence and surveillance information with them, but the level of cooperation is not as deep as within the 5 Eyes.


One of the key features of the 9 Eyes alliance is the sharing of signals intelligence, imagery intelligence, human intelligence, and open-source intelligence. This includes the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information related to potential threats to national security, such as terrorism and organized crime, as well as efforts to combat cyber-crime and protect critical infrastructure.


It's important to note that the 9 Eyes countries are not bound by the same legal framework and limitations that the 5 Eyes countries have, the 9 Eyes members may have different laws and regulations regarding intelligence-gathering, privacy, and civil liberties. Also, the 9 Eyes countries may not have the same level of technical capabilities as the 5 Eyes countries, therefore the sharing of intelligence may not be as robust.


As with the 5 Eyes, this intelligence sharing is not bound by the same legal framework and limitations that the member countries have, it's always best to stay informed about the laws and regulations of these countries and to be aware of how your personal information is being collected, used, and shared.


"The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything" – Eric Schmidt

The 14 Eyes alliance


The 14 Eyes alliance, also known as "FVEY" plus, is an international intelligence-sharing agreement between a group of countries, which includes the 5 Eyes alliance members (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and 9 Eyes alliance members (Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden). The goal of this alliance is to share intelligence and surveillance information with each other to improve their defense against potential threats such as terrorism, organized crime, and cyber-attacks.


The 14 Eyes alliance is considered to be less comprehensive and less active than the 5 Eyes alliance, as the level of cooperation and information-sharing among the participating countries is not as deep. The countries involved have a less close relationship in terms of intelligence sharing, and they have not developed the same level of trust and cooperation as the 5 Eyes countries.


The 14 Eyes countries are not bound by the same legal framework and limitations that the 5 Eyes countries have, The 14 Eyes members may have different laws and regulations regarding intelligence-gathering, privacy, and civil liberties. Also, the 14 Eyes countries may not have the same level of technical capabilities as the 5 Eyes countries, therefore the sharing of intelligence may not be as robust.


The 14 Eyes alliance does not have a specific budget or formalized structure. Cooperation and information-sharing among the member countries are carried out through regular meetings and informal arrangements.


It's important to note that the 14 Eyes alliance has implications for privacy, as it allows the participating countries to share information and conduct surveillance on each other's citizens. This means that if a citizen of one of these countries is under surveillance, their information may be shared with intelligence agencies in other countries within the alliance. This raised concerns about privacy and civil liberties, as individuals may have less privacy when it comes to intelligence gathering and surveillance in these countries. As with the 5 Eyes and 9 Eyes, it's best to stay informed about the laws and regulations of these countries and to be aware of how your personal information is being collected, used, and shared.



Avoiding the "5-9-14 alliance"


In the context of surveillance, avoiding the "5-9-14 alliance" would likely refer to preventing the intelligence agencies of those countries from surveilling or gathering intelligence on you. This can be a difficult task, as these countries have significant resources and capabilities in the realm of surveillance. However, here are a few strategies you can use to try to protect your privacy and avoid surveillance:


  1. Use encryption: Use encryption for all of your online communications, including email, instant messaging, and social media. This will make it much more difficult for intelligence agencies to intercept and read your communications.

  2. Use a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic, making it much more difficult for intelligence agencies to track your online activities. Check our list of the best VPNs for 2023.

  3. Be cautious with social media: Be careful about what you post on social media, and be sure to use the privacy settings to limit who can see your information. Remember that intelligence agencies can use social media to gather information on individuals.

  4. Use a secure Operating System: use a operating system which is considered secure and privacy-respecting such as Tails, Ubuntu or Qubes.

  5. Avoid using public WiFi: Avoid using public WiFi networks, as they are not secure and can be easily hacked by intelligence agencies.

  6. Use strong passwords: Use strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

  7. It's important to keep in mind that total anonymity and complete privacy are hard to achieve and require a lot of technical knowledge and resources, above all the best protection against surveillance is to minimize the amount of data you expose online, keep a low profile and always be aware of potential risks.


 

The implications of such surveillance practices extend far beyond individual nations, impacting the privacy of countless individuals worldwide. While proponents argue that these alliances are necessary to combat terrorism, transnational crime, and cyber threats, skeptics raise valid concerns about the erosion of civil liberties and the potential for abuses of power. The delicate balance between security and privacy hangs precariously, challenging society to grapple with the consequences of an all-pervasive surveillance state. The rise of government surveillance and the formation of intelligence alliances have sparked intense debates and raised legitimate concerns. As we uncover the extent of their power and influence, it becomes less a matter of whether they are watching and more about what they are capable of observing.


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