What is 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes and how is it part of a global surveillance campaign?
Achieving complete online privacy is becoming very difficult in today’s world. This is because nations and government organizations are investing lots of resources into local and global surveillance to spy on its citizens. The 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes are a term used to describe an alliance of countries that work together to gather and share data among them. Today, this has become almost a world-wide organization with access to tons and tons of data which they have acquired through various mass global surveillance techniques.
If you live in any one of the countries that are part of this alliance, there is a good chance that your government will be sharing information about you with other members of the alliance. And as a result, this can have some serious consequences on digital privacy.
How it all started?
In 1946, five countries formed an intelligence alliance for data gathering and global surveillance. The 5 Eyes consisted of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The United Kingdom and The United States. The alliance maintained complete secrecy for over 50 years and the knowledge of the existence of this group came to light to the general public only in 2005.
Even though the existence of the 5 eyes and their global surveillance campaign is well known today, most of the knowledge on how this alliance works is still clouded in mystery due to the immense security and secrecy measures they practice. The data gathering and global surveillance infrastructure of the 5 Eyes still remains as one of the most complex and comprehensive intelligence alliances in our history. UK Defence Journal, a United Kingdom based journalism firm has put together a comprehensive article on the history of the 5 Eyes and their current role in the world. Click here to read the article.
Expansion of the 5 Eyes into 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes
Over time, the 5 Eyes alliance expanded to include several other countries as well. Netherlands, France, Denmark and Norway joined the alliance to form the 9 Eyes alliance. Even though the countries joined later as part of the 5 Eyes, the co-operation between these countries are less compared to the 5 nations that initially formed the alliance. Later on, the 9 Eyes expanded once again and included Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden and these countries together are known as the 14 Eyes.
The 14 Eyes collect and share sensitive information among themselves as part of the global surveillance and this data can also include private communications between citizens of the nations included in this alliance. VPNoverview.com has put together a detailed article on the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes, their history, their global surveillance methods to collect data from all corners of the world and protection measures to protect yourself against mass global surveillance. Click here to read the article.
How to protect yourself from mass / global surveillance?
There are many ways to protect your online privacy. One of them is to use a VPN that does not store any logs. The most popular ones include the Tor browser, which encrypts traffic and provides anonymity. TOR (The Onion Router) can be added to Internet applications such as Firefox or Chrome by installing browser extensions.
Storing cookies and passwords in the browser can also lead to various privacy problems as the extensions installed on a browser can go through this data. To know more about how to protect your online privacy I have published a two part series where I go in-depth on what factors are used to profile an individual on the internet and how to protect yourself from being tracked. Click here to read the first part and click here to read the second part.
If you find this article useful, be sure to share it with everyone and bring awareness on various data gathering and global surveillance techniques that nations use to spy and collect information about its citizens. To know the importance of privacy, you can refer my previous article by clicking here. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the newsletter, be sure to drop in your email and stay up-to-date with the latest posts from Ciphernet.