Primarily thanks to valiant efforts of whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Five/Nine/Fourteen Eyes Alliances aren’t as secret as they once were, which further underlines the legitimate need for using VPNs in this day and age.
In simplest terms, governments cannot be trusted not to abuse the vast powers of espionage vested in them, as evidenced by the very existence of projects like the aforementioned alliances.
So many eyes keen on playing God
As for what those actually are, let’s start with the Five Eyes Alliance, a treaty comprising the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. It’s essentially an intelligence-sharing pact between those handful of countries that many would argue is a textbook example of bureaucratic overreach, though it’s also commonly used for coordinating economic responses to global crises like COVID-19.
With that said, the post-WWII pact is at clear odds with the very concept of digital privacy rights due to its less-than-stellar opinions on the benefits of encryption, not to mention its baseless assumptions of flawless governance. Let’s face it: people make mistakes all the time, least of all those in the public sector.
The danger posed by the Five Eyes Alliance is nowadays so great that even the largest names in the industry like NordVPN are using it to advertise their services. Essentially, you’re either against using circular what-have-you-got-to-hide logic for eroding people’s right to privacy, or you’re in favor of your taxes funding global spying machinery with little regard for just cause. Assuming you’re leaning closer to the former camp, you’ll want to use a VPN to protect yourself online.
Regarding the larger spying cabals mentioned above, next is the Nine Eyes Alliance, which adds France, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands to the original five. Finally, the Fourteen Eyes Alliance joins those jurisdictions with those of Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Sweden.
While a VPN provider based in any of those countries isn’t guaranteed to be untrustworthy, it’s generally recommended to stick with those who actively avoid having their headquarters in the vicinity of global spy rings. But then again, there’s a lot more nuance to choosing the best country for VPN anonymity than merely steering clear of the numbered-eyes alliances – the point of this article was merely to acquaint you with the organizations themselves.