A VPN is a service that is supposed to give you privacy and anonymity on the internet.
To do this, VPN providers will hide your location (IP address) and encrypt all your data.
Many people don’t realize that a VPN provider’s jurisdiction can have an enormous impact on the level of privacy it can provide.
The best jurisdictions for VPN providers are where the government enforces no mandatory data retention and has strict data protection laws.
What are the 5 eyes and which countries are part of it?
The Five Eyes alliance is a surveillance agreement between the following countries:
- The United States
- The United Kingdom
- New Zealand
These five countries have all signed a multilateral agreement UKUSA (United Kingdom – United States Communications Intelligence Agreement), a treaty of cooperation in intelligence and surveillance.
All five-eye countries have mandatory data retention legislation, which allows intelligence agencies to pressure VPN providers to provide them with user logs.
These countries can monitor and record all of your online activity and compel a VPN provider based in their jurisdiction to keep and if applicable give them all of your data.
The DMCA (United States Copyright Law) does not hesitate to demand your activity data from VPN providers based in one of these 5 signatory countries, when one of their IP addresses is discovered on p2p networks.
The main vpns based in one of the countries of the 5 eyes alliance:
• HotSpot Shield
• Private Internet Access
• VPN Unlimited
• BTGuard VPN
• Celo VPN
• VPNSecure Me
What are the 9 eyes and which countries are part of it?
Four new countries join the Five Eyes in the data collection intelligence agreement.
These 4 countries are:
- The Netherlands (Goose VPN)
- Norway (Opera VPN)
Although these four additional countries are not as problematic as the first 5, their practices can sometimes be as intrusive as those of the club of 5.
What are the 14 eyes and which countries are part of it?
5 new countries are added to the surveillance treaty. They must therefore be treated with suspicion regarding data confidentiality.
Our opinion on VPN providers based in countries of the alliance of 5, 9 & 14 eyes
When looking for a VPN provider, it is important to take into account the jurisdiction on which it depends.
If a VPN is based in a 5, 9, and 14 eye country, it is essential that it has a strict no-logs policies. However, in the case of the 5 five-eye countries this may not be enough.
Ultimately, it all depends on why you need a VPN.
If you need it to protect your data from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), local network administrator, or to protect yourself from hacking when connecting to public WiFi, the question of where the VPN provider is located doesn’t matter much.
But if you’re a torrent user, it is best to avoid at least VPNs located in one of the country’s 5 eyes.