5 Eyes, 9 Eyes And 14 Eyes Alliance Explained
There are many crucial factors that decide the fate of cyber security and online privacy. There are different attack vectors that threaten your security, those include malware, phishing, etc. Apart from that, there are many higher threats.
You might have seen the terms “5 Eyes”, “9 Eyes”, and “14 Eyes” a lot during your research to improve security on your end.
These intelligence alliances formed between different countries around the world. Their main goal is to gather mass information and share mass surveillance data while working collectively.
You’ll be learning about the five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliances from scratch. Which will include everything right from what they are, what data they collect to how to protect yourself from such atrocities.
Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance
The Five Eyes intelligence alliance (FVEY) includes the following countries:
If we’re talking about the history of this alliance, it will take us a while. The alliance has roots taking it back to WWII and the UKUSA Agreement. The agreement was officially enacted in 1946 and it stated that the two countries in the agreement will gather and share intelligence with each other.
This was further confirmed by Edward Snowden. He disclosed information that showed collaboration between the United States, the United Kingdom, and other allied countries.
Here are the agencies from the aforementioned countries involved in sharing data and spying on people:
These countries are also notorious for passing laws that take away the fundamental right to privacy. Here are some of their previously passed bills and systems in place:
United Kingdom: After the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016 was made legal. ISPs and telecommunication companies have been keeping records of browsing history, connection times, and text messages. The data collected is stored for a time period of 2 years and is available to UK’s government agencies without any warrants.
United States: It’s no lie that the US government agencies are involved in many different surveillance programs. One of them being, NSA’s PRISM Program. However, in March 2017, ISPs were given the legal privilege to record user activity and sell the data to third parties.
Australia: Similar to the United Kingdom, Australia has implemented data retention laws to facilitate government agencies and spy on their citizens.
Nine Eyes Intelligence Alliance
The 9 eye intelligence alliance includes the following countries:
5 Eyes Countries +
Nine Eye Intelligence Alliance has been referenced to and spoken about countlessly. If we check about the whole global scale of the operation these agencies complete. They’re practically spying over a mass population which is why it is so dangerous.
Fourteen Eyes Intelligence Alliance
The 14 eye intelligence alliance includes the following countries:
9 Eyes Countries +
The agenda is still the same with the addition of these new countries. Gather intelligence and share them in collaboration with the other government agencies throughout the world. The official name for this group is referred to as SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR).
What techniques do these intelligence alliances use?
There are different mechanics and ways through which these intelligence agencies gather information over a large scale. Though that raw data is useless unless it is analyzed to bring out the actionable intel.
We won’t be going into detail on how these attack vectors work and whatnot since it is not relevant to our agenda here. Without further ado, let’s see how do they gather intelligence.
Signal Intelligence (SIGINT): Signal Intelligence is referred to as the information gathered by intercepting signals from different devices.
Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT): Geospatial Intelligence is referred to as the information gathered by the analysis of images and data linked to a particular location.
Human Intelligence (HUMINT): It is the process of gathering information through the use of a human resource, mostly spies.
In no way, these are the complete techniques used in deriving intelligence over a mass population. However, these are enough reasons to convince you that agencies are indeed spying on the population. It’s not going anywhere unless you take a stand against it.
How does Intelligence Alliances affect me?
It is the most important question to ask. Without knowing the effects it can have on you one can’t decide whether one needs to protect himself from it or not.
Mass surveillance means that anything you do on the internet, offline on your phone i.e texting, calling, will be recorded and stored. This is a breach of privacy. Alright now you might be wondering, you have nothing to hide so it is okay.
Guess what? If the government agencies find you even a teeny tiny bit suspicious, you’ll be in trouble. Everything will be used against you even if it was a joke. It can costs you heavy fines or in some cases, jail time.
Nobody cares about what they’re texting to their friends, but these agencies certainly do. Since it’s a matter of national security for them. This is why it is important to invest in countermeasures to keep yourself hidden from third-party eyes.
VPNs in the Jurisdiction of Intelligence Alliances
While VPN services might help you get rid of the problem. It is important to know that VPN that are located in the jurisdiction of these alliances are risky. Why? It’s aforementioned that intelligence services can get them to surrender their data.
The question is will a private VPN service get its business shutdown or surrender the data it has on you to the services? You know the answer to that.
For your ease, here are the VPN services that operate from within the jurisdiction of 14 eyes.
How to protect yourself from 5 Eyes / 9 Eyes / 14 eyes?
Before we dive into the countermeasures that you can implement. Let’s make one thing clear. If you’re being targeted by the NSA or GCHQ, there’s a high chance that the countermeasures may fail.
Since these are full-fledged security agencies and not much information is available about their capabilities.
Here are some simple steps to keep yourself hidden the heaps of data they’ll collect through different mediums.
Use a trusted VPN
Using a VPN service surely helps out a lot. Since it encrypts all of your network traffic and routes it through a secure tunnel. If they are able to record your data, all they’d be recording is gibberish.
A good VPN service will provide features that’ll keep you safe and anonymous on the internet. Therefore, VPN is your best bet in this case.
Use other privacy tools
In order to maintain anonymity on the web. There are a lot of tools that were curated for different purposes. Even though a VPN will provide security on its own, its better to still be more secure.
Since nothing is 100% secure at all, there’s a good chance that these will help you maintain privacy online.
Use anonymous search engines.
Make use of encrypted email services.
Use a private and secure web-browser.
Install an ad-blocker
It is important to stay safe and anonymous online. The best way to counter spying by intelligence alliances is to implement security measures on the client’s end. In this case, would be privacy extensions and a VPN.
Furthermore, in advanced cases, users can look forward to ditching their current operating system and switch to a more secure platform with added security features such as Tails Linux. In this way they can make sure they’re always anonymous and secure online.
The Five Eyes – The Intelligence Alliance of the Anglosphere
By J. Vitor Tossini -
April 14, 2020
The Five Eyes (FVEY) is widely regarded as the world’s most significant intelligence alliance. The origins of it can be traced back to the context of the Second World War and by its necessity of sharing vital information mainly between Britain and the United States so both countries could enhance their close war effort.
The Five Eyes was formally founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, through the multilateral agreement for co-operation in signals intelligence (SIGINT), known as the UKUSA Agreement, on 5 March 1946.
Initially, compromising only the UK and the United States, it expanded to also include Canada in 1948 and Australia and New Zealand in 1956, all of these last three English-speaking countries, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and with similar political systems when compared to Britain. Thereby, the ‘Five Eyes’ term was created from the lengthy ‘AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/ Eyes Only’ classification level that included the ‘eyes’ that could have access to high profile papers and information.
For more than 70 years, the once-secret post-war alliance of the five English-speaking nations has been an infrastructure of surveillance with a global reach and ageing is not a problem for the FVEY, which remains one of the most complex and far-reaching intelligence and espionage alliances in our history.
Despite the fact that the alliance is known throughout the world and its existence is subject of endless debates, the real knowledge of how the Five Eyes works is still clouded by the security measures that involves almost everything related to the Five Eyes.
The secretiveness of the alliance is so severe that the treaty that created it was not in the knowledge of Gough Whitlam, then Prime Minister of Australia, as late as 1973 and it did not come to the public attention until 2005. Only in June 2010, the full text of the UKUSA Agreement was released by the British and American governments and for the first time officially recognised.
It’s worth mentioning the importance of the UKUSA Agreement and the subsequent Five Eyes for the Special Relationship. It helped to forge the basis for a stronger co-operation between the UK and the United States in the Cold War period fostering mutual trust and deepening the links between the two countries. In other words, the Agreement consolidated the Special Relationship between Britain and the United States.
The co-operation was crucial for both countries during the Cold War, for Britain, an example was the Five Eyes role in providing complementary intelligence for tracking Soviet submarines with ballistic missiles in the North Atlantic and the North Sea, and for the United States, it relied on long-established British listening posts in territories that were part of Britain’s empire for signals of intelligence, especially in the Middle East.
Few documents are accessible to the public, but with the ones that have been officially realised it is possible to know the primary extent of the Agreement.
According to the original declassified treaty of 1946, ‘the parties agree to the exchange of the products of the following operations relating to foreign communications: collection of traffic, acquisition of communication documents and equipment, traffic analysis, cryptanalysis, decryption and translation, acquisition of information regarding communication organisations, practices, procedures, and equipment’. This shows the initial scope of the treaty and its ambitions.
Furthermore, it is known that each member of the alliance is responsible for intelligence gathering and analysis over specific regions of the world. Britain monitors Europe, Western Russia, Middle East and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the United States also oversees the Middle East plus China, Russia, Africa and the Caribbean. Australia is responsible for South and East Asia and New Zealand for the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Canada monitors the interior of Russia and China and parts of Latin America. In spite of this division, they work mainly together, and the ‘final product’ generally is a result of more than one of its members; helping each other is an essential part of this agreement.
Nevertheless, the regional division does not imply that the parties are bounded to direct its efforts only to those regions, this means that while Britain is ‘responsible’ for some areas, it has not the obligation to just monitor those parts of the world.
The current role of the Five Eyes has many ramifications, such as the ‘maritime domain’ where the alliance monitors shipping traffic passing through strategic maritime areas and the ‘aerospace domain’ which covers ballistic missile tests, foreign satellite deployments and the military activities of relevant air forces.
Terrorist organisations and weapons business deals made by ‘problematic regimes’ are also within the scope of the Five Eyes; these two, in particular, are growing source of worries for all the five members and the intelligence co-operation between them is essential to keep their governments updated with the most recent information. This aids the process of policy-making, for the data collected and analysed by the alliance may turn out to be vital for more than a time of crises but also for the daily basis of government; notably, these daily efforts consist in tracking and identifying possible sources of terrorism and other non-conventional threats.
Such complex agreement would never exist if not by the convergent aspects of all the five members. They share common principles, such the liberal democratic values, similar or complementary national interests and cultures. Beyond that, since the Second World War Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States share same threats to their national security be them conventional or not.
All these characteristics unify their efforts and foster mutual trust, indispensable to the Five Eyes. Within the context of mutual trust, the five partners seem not to target each other; nevertheless, there are no means of ensuring that spying on each other does not happen.
In addition, the Five Eyes works with various ‘Third Party’ countries, the co-operation with Denmark, France, Norway and the Netherlands receives the name of ‘Nine Eyes’, and there is the ‘Fourteen Eyes’ which consists of the previously mentioned Nine Eyes plus Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. However, the official name of the Fourteen Eyes is SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR), and its primary objective is to coordinate the exchange of military signals amongst its members.
It is also worth to mention that many countries mentioned above already have other intelligence co-operation links, especially through NATO Special Committee which gathers the heads of the security services of its parties.
So, after more than 70 years, the Five Eyes is widely regarded as the ‘gold standard’ of intelligence alliances. Its scope grows accordingly with the new technologies and the following evolving security concerns arising from those new technologies, thereby, the Eyes have in mind that the digital world cannot be underestimated; the opponents of the UK and the United States recognise that as well, as the number of cyber attacks grows unceasingly.
Therefore, the Five Eyes is an enormous asset to keep the citizens of the ‘English-Speaking World’ safer and is the result of decades of relationship cemented on trust and confidence amongst its members.
By uniting services from Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand it is possible to affirm that its potential is almost limitless and meets no parallel