(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Fourteen Eyes is a term that we are sure many of you will already have heard when browsing through the internet, especially if you browse tech forums. Many people do not fully understand what the Fourteen Eyes is, and just how dangerous it can be to your online experience. In fact, it is not possible for you to feel safe if you are a resident of a fourteen eyes country.
We will take you through what the Fourteen Eyes actually is and who is a member of it. We will also go through all of the ways it threatens your privacy, and what you can do in order to ensure you have maximum privacy when browsing the internet.
What is the Fourteen Eyes
The Fourteen Eyes is a surveillance alliance. What that means is that a total of fourteen countries have decided to band together and share their intelligence information with one another. This includes all of the browsing history of any user currently residing in one of these countries.
Initially, the Fourteen Eyes only had 5 countries and was known as the UKUSA agreement. There was a surveillance program setup known as ECHELON. Soon, it grew to 9 countries, before an additional 5 were added to have a total of 14 countries.
That is not all, there are also some additional support countries which are not a part of the network officially but regularly contribute to its network. These countries are also not a safe place when it comes to ensuring your online anonymity.
How to Avoid Fourteen Eyes Intrusions
Before we delve into the problems you may face if you live in one of the fourteen eyes countries, remember that you can solve all of your online anonymity problems if you use a VPN. A VPN will encrypt your data and route your traffic through a remote server so that no one can see your internet history.
Why Fourteen Eyes is a Threat
The main reason why Fourteen Eyes is so controversial is that it allows governments to spy on their own people through a proxy. The US may not legally be able to spy on their residents so they may ask the UK intelligence services to do it instead, and vice versa.
Even if your government does not spy on you, it is still possible for any of the other countries which are a part of Fourteen Eyes to take a look at your eyes. Ever since Edward Snowden leaked the fact that the US is spying on its people to a much larger extent than anyone could have imagined, it is not difficult to assume that other countries are doing the same thing.
All of the countries which are currently a part of the Fourteen Eyes are quite powerful, and make up a fairly large percentage of the total number of internet users in the world. You need to remember that although a VPN is the best way to make sure your online experience is protected, a VPN service hosted in one of these countries can easily be compelled to give away your personal data if they store it.
Fourteen Eyes Country
As we have stated above, the UKUSA agreement came first and the first five countries formed an alliance based on it. The countries participating in it were:
● New Zealand
● United Kingdom
● United States
After the first five countries, there were four more countries which became a part of the alliance. This was the first time that this alliance had penetrated mainland Europe, and other countries were soon to follow in their footsteps. These countries were:
After that, there were five more countries which joined the alliance and this group officially became known as SIGINT Seniors Europe. The five countries were:
That is not all though, as there are other countries which are considered partners or affiliates of the Fourteen Eyes organization. These countries are a close ally of one or more of the participants and should be looked at with similar scepticism as the Fourteen Eyes countries are looked at. The additional countries are:
● South Korea
● British Overseas Territories
It is quite clear to see the threat that exists as far as our online privacy is concerned. It is possible that governments in any of these countries could be spying on millions of people, collecting data for their own purposes.
Although a VPN is a good, low-cost method of protection, you need to make sure that your VPN provider is not registered in any one of the aforementioned countries.
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