If you are worried about your privacy on the internet, you probably know the terms: Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes. All three terms are used to describe three different monitoring alliances.
Five Eyes is a pseudonym for the United Kingdom-United States Agreement (UKUSA).
Despite its official name, the UKUSA agreement is made up of five different countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The agreement has its roots in an information exchange agreement between Britain and the United States since World War II.
Today, the actions of Five Eyes are incredible. In accordance with Electronic Frontier Foundation, the five governments can force any "communication service provider" (ISPs, social media platforms, email providers, mobile networks, etc.) to:
- Implement malware on their users' devices.
- Ignore the applicable laws for the Five Eyes instructions.
- Affect the user experience.
- They provide governments with new product designs in advance.
- Provide user information with secret warrants.
Another information exchange agreement. It comes from the original Five Eyes alliance and includes all members of the Five Eyes alliance, but also Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Norway.
The powers and the exchange of information are generally the same as the Five Eyes agreement.
The 14 Eyes agreement adds five more countries to the list: Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
It should be noted that both France and Germany were to join the Five Eyes in 2009 and 2013 respectively. But both agreements were not concluded for various reasons.
Finally, it is important to mention Israel and Singapore. Israel reportedly has observer status in the main Five Eyes deal, while Singapore is working with the group but is not an official member.