Five Eyes, Nine Eyes & 14-Eyes Countries and VPN Jurisdiction

John Mason

John Mason

In this article, I’ll share the differences between different alliances (4 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes) as well as how it affects your anonymity when using a VPN.

Here’s all you need to know about VPN jurisdiction, five eyes, nine eyes and fourteen-eyes alliances and countries. It’s highly recommended that you choose a VPN outside these jurisdiction for full anonymity and data protection.

Important Factors of a VPN Company Jurisdiction

VPN Jurisdiction – This refers to the laws and regulations surrounding virtual private networks in a given country. Most countries allow citizens and residents to use VPNs under their legal system, but it is important to consider the level of control a given national government retains over your VPN use.

VPN Provider Location – This refers to where the VPN provider is located as a business, which may not be the same as where the company maintains its VPN servers. Again, depending on the extent to which the relevant authorities oversee VPN use, you may want to choose a VPN provider located outside of your country of residence.

VPN Server Location – This refers to where the VPN provider has decided to set up servers, which may not be the same as where they operate on a day-to-day basis. One VPN provider may have servers in multiple locations, and often, you the user will be able to choose from a number of VPN server locations from a single VPN provider.

 

Country-by-Country Guide to VPN Jurisdictions

At TheBestVPN, we always try to be as thorough as possible. Below you will find 31 countries listed with the legality of VPNs in that country, whether or not they are a member of a 5, 9 or 14-Eyes member, some commentary and one or more VPN providers you can start your search with.

For your convenience, here is a list with jump-to links for easy reference:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Australia

  • Are VPNs legal in Australia? Yes
  • Five Eyes Alliance member
  • VPN use is completely legal in the land down under. However, since Australia is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, any data passing through and stored on VPN systems domiciled in the country is still subject to the surveillance protocols implemented by the intelligence-sharing alliance.

Sources:
Regional Overview: Australia & New Zealand. Open Net Initiative.

Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Australia. Freedom House.

Popular Australia-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

  • Are VPNs legal in the British Virgin Islands? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • While an overseas territory of the UK, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an autonomous nation with its own legislature and code of laws. Lacking its own foreign intelligence apparatus, the BVI is not a member of any international signals intelligence-sharing alliance. That means VPN systems based in the territory are not subject to surveillance laws enabling intelligence agencies to legally access or intercept customer data. Moreover, there are no data retention laws in the territory.
  • BVI-based ExpressVPN consistently ranks among the top-rated VPN providers around the world.

Sources:
Regional Overview: Australia & New Zealand. Open Net Initiative.

Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Australia. Freedom House.

Popular BVI-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Bulgaria

  • Are VPNs legal in Bulgaria? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • A member nation of both the EU and NATO, Bulgaria embraces freedom of speech and a free press but reportedly monitors citizen’s internet usage. The country’s constitution prohibits arbitrary incursions into citizens’ privacy and there are no reported government restrictions on internet access. However, Bulgaria’s intelligence services can legally access digital data related to cyber crimes and serious national security threats, having the ability to request such data from VPN providers even without court authorization.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Bulgaria. Wikipedia

Popular Bulgarian-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Canada

  • Are VPNs legal in Canada? Yes
  • Five Eyes Alliance member
  • Canada consistently ranks in the top ten happiest countries in the world and is among the freest territories on the planet. However, it adopts comparatively stricter policies on issues such as net neutrality, data retention, and surveillance. Some government- sanctioned ISPs are authorized to block access to certain sites such as those related to child pornography. As a Five Eyes alliance member, Canada also implements a legal framework that empowers its intelligence agencies to access and share electronic data with other member nations in certain situations.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Canada. Freedom House.

Popular Canadian-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Cayman Islands

  • Are VPNs legal in the Cayman Islands? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Like the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands is an autonomous territory in the Caribbean Sea associated with the British constitutional monarchy. The Cayman Islands also has its own legislation and policies governing privacy and electronic data. The territory passed a comprehensive Data Protection Law in 2017 that reflects many of the principles underlying EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a legal framework strongly safeguarding privacy and consumer data.

Sources:
Cayman Islands Seek to Supplement Its Data Protection Law. Lexology.

Popular Cayman-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: China

  • Are VPNs legal in China? Not all. Only government-approved VPNs are allowed to operate.
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • While running the planet’s second-biggest economy and pioneering many innovations in IT, China remains a repressive regime when it comes to what its citizens can access and use online. This long-standing policy led to the spread of the internet meme “The Great Firewall of China.” For purposes of personal safety and to mitigate liability, consider VPNs illegal. The only legal cross-border private networks are those that can be leased from or duly approved by government agencies. Any person in the country who gets caught using any other type of VPN will be apprehended and fined up to a few thousand dollars.
  • Many popular VPNs have been blocked by the government. Turbo VPN is among the few based in the country that still operates but glitches, warning notices, and other usage issues have been reported. If you can take the risk, consider using offshore VPN providers instead.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: China. Freedom House.

Country Profile: China. Open Net Initiative.
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: China. Wikipedia.

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Czech Republic

  • Are VPNs legal in the Czech Republic? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • The Czech Republic is a high-income market economy, considered among the freest, safest, and most egalitarian countries in the world. Its citizens are also among the least restricted internet users on the planet. Freedom of speech and of the press are safeguarded, with the law prohibiting arbitrary interference on privacy, family, or home. However, exceptions apply against hate speech, Holocaust denial, and websites promoting child pornography and racist content. Based on reports, the government has been initiating moves to gain more control over Internet activity using a proposed but currently unpopular ID system.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Czech Republic. Wikipedia.

Popular Czech Republic-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Denmark

  • Are VPNs legal in Denmark? Yes
  • Nine Eyes Alliance member
  • As part of EU, Denmark implements the sweeping privacy standards of GDPR and remains one of the freest jurisdictions when it comes to online access. However, the country is known for drafting and promulgating laws that make it easier for the state to control access to or filter certain websites. To date, the country has already censored more than 3,000 websites including those that promote child pornography, facilitate digital piracy, and sell regulated drugs. Its membership to the Nine Eyes alliance also binds Denmark to share electronic data with other member countries in certain situations.
  • While Denmark has the legal authority to restrict online access, VPN use remains legal.

Sources:
Regional Overview: Nordic Countries. Open Net Initiative.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Denmark. Wikipedia.

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Finland

  • Are VPNs legal in Finland? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Finland is among the most prosperous countries in the world and its citizens – who consistently rank among the happiest – can access considerable social safety nets. Democracy, republicanism, human rights, and equality encapsulate the socio-political history of Finland which was the first country in the world to grant all its adult citizens the right to run for public office. While its citizens enjoy considerable freedom, however, Finland is known for filtering or attempting to restrict access to unwanted websites (child pornography, piracy, gambling, etc.). The government has been reported to have wrongfully censored non-malicious sites in the process.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Finland. Wikipedia.

Regional Overview: Nordic Countries. Open Net Initiative.

Popular Finland-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Germany

  • Are VPNs legal in Germany? Yes
  • 14 Eyes Alliance member
  • Germany strongly supports people’s right to privacy and is a driving force in the enactment and implementation of GDPR. While having long established a comparatively free online environment for its citizens, Germany has not escaped criticism for some of its actions viewed by many as attempts to censor the Internet to protect minors, eradicate hate speech, suppress fake news, and curb terror-related extremism. Proposals have been filed to enable the state to monitor social media sites.
  • Even amid these issues, it is perfectly legal to use VPN in Germany.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Germany. Freedom House.

Country Profile: Germany. Open Net Initiative.
Are VPNs Legal In Your Country? TheBestVPN.
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Germany. Wikipedia.

Popular Germany-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Gibraltar

  • Are VPNs legal in Gibraltar? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Gibraltar is an autonomous British overseas territory that governs its internal affairs via an elected parliament. In matters of defence, foreign policy, and security, however, the UK – represented by a governor – assumes decision-making and executive powers. This means that in certain circumstances, British intelligence agencies may have the authority to monitor the Gibraltarians’ online activities. As part of Europe, the island territory is also subject to GDPR which provides strong protections for privacy and personal data.
  • You can use VPNs legally in Gibraltar.

Sources:
Jurisdiction snapshot: Data Security & Cybercrime | Gibraltar. Lexology.

Popular Gibraltar-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Hong Kong

  • Are VPNs legal in Hong Kong? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • As a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy, with the territory’s Basic Law outlining residents’ rights to privacy, association, and freedom of expression. Compared to their compatriots in the mainland, Hong Kong residents are not hindered by the notorious Great Firewall of China and they can access virtually any site on the Web, even those that advocate positions that differ from the official party line of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. There is minimal censorship beyond legislation that penalizes digital piracy, pornography, and other crimes. However, government agencies do monitor Internet use, with some activists claiming their emails and other online activities are being surveilled.
  • In recent years, the territory has been under increasing threat of greater interference and control from Beijing. The advocacy group Freedom House downgraded the territory’s internet freedom status from “free” to just “partly free.” Nonetheless, VPN use is still considered legal in Hong Kong.

Sources:
Country Profile: China including Hong Kong. Open Net Initiative.

Internet censorship in Hong Kong. Wikipedia.
Freedom in the World 2017. Freedom House.

Popular Hong Kong-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Israel

  • Are VPNs legal in Israel? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Israel is a representative democracy in the Middle East with an advanced economy and one of the highest living standards in the region. The government generally seeks to maintain a free online environment and rarely attempts to interfere with or censor internet activity. However, legislation enabling the government to fight crime more effectively by blocking certain websites has been recently introduced. Previously, a few sites and hateful posts on social media have been blocked.
  • VPN use in Israel is legal.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Israel. Wikipedia.

Are VPNs Legal In Your Country? TheBestVPN.
Country Profile: Israel. Open Net Initiative.

Popular Israel-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Italy

  • Are VPNs legal in Italy? Yes
  • 14 Eyes Alliance member
  • The Italian constitution guarantees press freedom. The country, however, has censored many mass media materials over the years for largely socio-cultural reasons. Italy has also restricted access to around 7,000 websites including those that promote child pornography, gambling, hate, and intellectual copyright infringement. Following terror attacks in other European countries, measures that limit wi-fi access have been initiated to counter the threat. Currently, the state legislature is drafting laws that further strengthen the government’s ability to censor and monitor online access and content. Despite these restrictions, general internet usage in Italy can still be considered free.
  • Using VPN is legal.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Italy. Wikipedia.

Are VPNs Legal In Your Country? TheBestVPN.
Country Profile: Italy. Open Net Initiative.

Popular Italy-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Japan

  • Are VPNs legal in Japan? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Freedom of speech and of the press are protected under Japanese law, with government adhering to its principles in practice. There are no notable restrictions on internet access (penetration rate is at 90%) nor overt censure of online content. Instead, ISPs adopt self-censorship in filtering pornographic and “immoral” materials.
  • Virtual private networks such as University of Tsukuba’s VPN Gate are completely legal to use.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Japan. Freedom House.

Are VPNs Legal In Your Country? TheBestVPN.
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Japan. Wikipedia.

Popular Japan-based VPN provider:

  • VPN Gate

VPN Jurisdiction: Malaysia

  • Are VPNs legal in Malaysia? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Malaysia’s internet climate has been promising until corruption scandals associated with key political figures triggered a wave of censorship, clampdowns on websites, and arrests of bloggers and internet users critical of the government or espousing controversial views. Freedom House rates the country’s internet status as “partly free” while it is listed by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) as “under surveillance.” With a recent election toppling politicians associated with the corruption scandal, a return to a freer internet might be on the horizon.
  • Normally, the government refrains from censoring online content, upholds internet users’ civil liberties, and enforces no mandatory data retention laws.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Malaysia. Wikipedia.

Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Malaysia. Freedom House.
Country Profile: Malaysia. Open Net Initiative.
World Press Freedom Index: Malaysia. Reporters Without Borders.

Popular Malaysia-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Moldova

  • Are VPNs legal in Moldova? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Moldovans generally enjoy unrestricted internet access but notable legislation and government action prompted the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) to classify the country’s web openness as “selective” when it comes to online political content. Industry stakeholders believe a new bill introduced by the government grants it more power to censor the internet. Authorized to monitor the internet and collect information related to unlawful activities, state agencies have directly interfered with internet access to stem dissent.
  • Even amid government’s selective surveillance, access to the internet can still be considered unfettered.

Sources:
Are VPNs Legal In Your Country?
TheBestVPN.
Country Profile: Moldova. Open Net Initiative.
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Moldova. Wikipedia.

Popular Moldova-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Netherlands

  • Are VPNs legal in the Netherlands? Yes
  • Nine Eyes Alliance member
  • Residents of the Netherlands enjoy one of freest internet systems in the world, with virtually no government censorship of online content nor restrictions on internet access (with the notable exception of Pirate Bay, access to which has been blocked as ordered by the Dutch Court in 2017). The Netherlands is also a member of the Nine Eyes Alliance which establishes an intelligence-sharing framework where members can cooperate to circumvent local laws related to gathering and sharing of electronic data.
  • VPN use is completely legal in the country.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Netherlands. Wikipedia.

Popular Nethelands-based VPN provider:

VPN Jurisdiction: Norway

  • Are VPNs legal in Norway? Yes
  • Nine Eyes Alliance member
  • Norway has one of the world’s most open environments when it comes to media and freedom of expression. The right of the public to access government information is guaranteed by the constitution. Internet penetration is also among the highest at around 97% in 2017. There are no government restrictions and censorship, with major ISPs volunteering to use DNS filters that block child pornography sites.
  • VPN use is completely legal in Norway.

Sources:
Regional Overview: Nordic Countries. Open Net Initiative.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Norway. Wikipedia.

Popular Norway-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Panama

  • Are VPNs legal in Panama? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Panama’s constitution safeguards the freedoms of expression, association, and the press. Arbitrary interference with privacy, correspondence, family, or home is prohibited. However, corruption remains a challenge that often leads to government attempts to repress criticism of public officials and to cut off mobile and internet access in some volatile areas. Wiretaps related to criminal prosecution requires judicial oversight and incidence of email monitoring have been reported. Amid these exceptions, Panamanians still generally enjoy unhindered access to the internet.
  • Panama residents can legally use VPNs.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Panama. Wikipedia.

Popular Panama-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Romania

  • Are VPNs legal in Romania? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Romanians enjoy relatively unrestricted access to the internet with the exception of sites related to gambling, pornography, and paedophilia that have been blocked or filtered by the government. Many observers claim that laws aimed at curbing gambling websites may be abused to censor citizen’s online activities.
  • The use of VPNs is legal in Romania.

Sources:
Are VPNs Legal In Your Country?
TheBestVPN.
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Romania. Wikipedia.

Popular Romania-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Russia

  • Are VPNs legal in Russia? Not all. Only government-sanctioned VPNs allowed.
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Given its recent track record of filtering mass media materials, surveilling citizens, and leaning further towards authoritarian tendencies, Russia understandably receives less-than-ideal scores from rating organizations. Freedom House gives the country a “not free” rating on internet freedom in 2017 while Reporters Without Borders (RWB) lists Russia as an “internet enemy” in 2014. The Russian government also actively participates in shaping public opinion in cyberspace using mass information campaigns. Moreover, a blacklist of internet sites including those on child pornography, prohibited drugs, and extremist content was implemented in 2012 amid widespread criticism. The professional networking site LinkedIn has been blocked in Russia since late 2016.
  • As of November 2017, residents in Russia can only use government-sanctioned VPNs allegedly to prevent the spread of extremist materials and unlawful content. The penalty for non-compliance was set at around US$5,100 for the user and US$12,000 for the service provider.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Russia. Freedom House.

Country Profile: Russia. Open Net Initiative.

Popular Russia-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: San Marino

  • Are VPNs legal in San Marino? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • San Marino is a republic that safeguards its citizens’ full internet rights and does not impose censorship on online content. All independent observers rate the country’s media and internet systems as “free.”
  • Not surprisingly, VPN use is completely legal in San Marino.

Sources:
Are VPNs Legal In Your Country?
TheBestVPN.

Popular San Marion-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Seychelles

  • Are VPNs legal in Seychelles? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Seychelles is a sovereign state in the Indian Ocean composed of dozens of islands and characterized by an unusually high Human Development Index (HDI) for an African country. However, it also faces long-standing problems of unequal wealth distribution, corruption, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Internet usage in the country is generally unfettered but occasional access restrictions occur due to an extreme case of partisan politics. There are strict defamation laws in place.
  • VPN use is legal.

Sources:
2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Seychelles. The US State Department.

The 2018 World Press Freedom Index: Seychelles. Reporters Without Borders.

Popular Seychelles-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Singapore

  • Are VPNs legal in Singapore? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • While a prosperous and technologically advanced nation in South East Asia, Singapore implements a less open internet environment compared to those of similarly affluent countries. To suppress political dissent, the government actively censors internet content and even shuts down websites that are highly critical of public policies. Due to its well-documented stance and actions on press freedom and the freedom of expression, Singapore earns only a “partly free” rating from Freedom House. The government uses licensing controls and legal tactics to regulate internet access and to curb unwanted online content and activities. State authorities maintain a list of blocked websites that are inaccessible within the territory.
  • Despite aforementioned restrictions, VPN use is legal in Singapore.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: Singapore. Freedom House.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Singapore. Wikipedia.
Country Profile: Singapore. Open Net Initiative.

Popular Singapore-based VPN provider:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Slovakia

  • Are VPNs legal in Slovakia? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Slovakia’s constitution safeguards the freedoms of speech and the press. However, media outlets occasionally experience political pressure. Even if the government’s relations with journalists is, Slovakia still earns a “free” rating from the Freedom House primarily due to the state’s minimal to zero interference in citizens’ internet access. With the exception of sites spreading hate speech, state authorities do not monitor emails, online chat rooms, and other activities without judicial oversight.
  • Using virtual private networks is legal.

Sources:
Freedom in the World 2017: Slovakia. Freedom House.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Slovakia. Wikipedia.

Popular Slovakia-based VPN provider:

VPN Jurisdiction: South Korea

  • Are VPNs legal in South Korea? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • South Korea is among the most technologically and economically advanced countries in the world. The country’s internet landscape is innovative and thriving even amid restrictions on content that undermines the country’s “traditional values,” offends public morality, or threatens national security. The government is known for censoring, monitoring, and blocking such online content and activity. Reports of systematic manipulation of online discussions have also been documented. Service providers that break internet policies face fines of up to US$18,000.
  • VPN use is completely legal.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: South Korea. Freedom House.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: South Korea. Wikipedia.
Country Profile: South Korea. Open Net Initiative.

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Sweden

  • Are VPNs legal in Sweden? Yes
  • Nine Eyes Alliance member
  • Sweden is an affluent European monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. The country’s constitution guarantees civil liberties and prohibits arbitrary interference on privacy, correspondence, home and family. The government strongly respects these rights, establishing one of the freest socio-political environments in the world. The law requires intelligence agencies to obtain court permission before monitoring cross-border online traffic to combat national security threats. With the exception of blocking Pirate Bay, the state does not interfere with citizen’s access to the internet.
  • VPN use is completely legal.

Sources:
Regional Overview: Nordic Countries. Open Net Initiative.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Sweden. Wikipedia.
Freedom in the World 2018: Sweden. Freedom House.

Popular Sweden-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: Switzerland

  • Are VPNs legal in Switzerland? Yes
  • Non-member to Five-, Nine-, 14 Eyes alliances
  • Founded in 1300, Switzerland is a federal republic whose constitution guarantees freedoms of speech and of the press while penalizing discrimination, hate speech, and breach of privacy. The government does not restrict its citizens’ access to the internet nor does it monitor email or chat rooms without judicial oversight. However, nearly 70% of its citizens voted in a referendum in support of a bill enabling the state to legally surveil its citizens’ online activities. Even then, no incidence of abuse of authority has been reported.
  • VPN use is completely legal in Switzerland.

Sources:
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: Switzerland. Wikipedia.

Freedom in the World 2017: Switzerland. Freedom House.

Popular Switzerland-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: United Kingdom

  • Are VPNs legal in the United Kingdom? Yes
  • Founding member of the Five, Nine, and 14 Eyes Alliances
  • The United Kingdom (UK) is a constitutional monarchy that has adopted democratic values through a parliamentary form of government. The UK implements strong safeguards for civil liberties, freedom of expression, privacy, and political rights. However, it also sanctions surveillance activities on residents, an example of which is the Investigatory Powers Act that authorizes state agencies to monitor any online activity. It has taken surveillance and police measures to combat child abuse and terrorism. The Freedom House rates the UK as “free” when it comes to internet freedoms while Reporters Without Borders list it as an “Internet Enemy.”
  • While using VPN is legal, VPN companies based in the UK may be subject to the same data retention laws applicable to internet service providers. The UK has also reportedly blocked some VPNs.

Sources:
Country Profile: United Kingdom. Open Net Initiative.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: United Kingdom. Wikipedia.
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: United Kingdom. Freedom House.

Popular UK-based VPN providers:

 

VPN Jurisdiction: United States of America

  • Are VPNs legal in the United States of America? Yes
  • Founding member of the Five, Nine, and 14 Eyes Alliances
  • The United States of America is known for its staunch support for human rights, civil liberties, privacy, and freedoms of speech and of the press. However, the country – which functions as a federal republic – has been involved in controversies concerning internet use and regulation. While the state does not actively censor online content, there have been reports that its intelligence agencies have been monitoring ISPs. Furthermore, recently introduced laws grant more legal space for ISP monitoring. Freedom House rates the country’s internet policies and actions as “free” while Reporters Without Borders listed the US in 2014 as an “Internet Enemy.”
  • VPN use is completely legal. The US arguably hosts the world’s largest number of VPN service providers.

Sources:
Freedom on the Net 2017 Country Profile: United States. Freedom House.

Regional Overview: United States & Canada. Open Net Initiative.
Internet Censorship and Surveillance per Country: United States. Wikipedia.
2018 World Press Freedom Index: United States. Reporters Without Borders.

Popular USA-based VPN providers:

 

4 thoughts on “Five Eyes, Nine Eyes & 14-Eyes Countries and VPN Jurisdiction

  1. A friend send me your article read on transients, great job John, very nice summary!
    Few remarks:
    – Wathever Mullvad (Sweden) is in the 14 eyes, it’s kind of exception cause you don’t need ID to register, no email, nothing. And you can pay in bitcoin and maybe other anonymous money. So and as for all other VPN including the one outside global Watch, if you surf without providing your real ID (by google account, Facebook, tweeter and other…) and if you hide you computer fingerprint, you should be anonymous by using it.
    – As I said, If you aren’t hiding your computer fingerprint and log somewhere with your real ID, technically you aren’t anymore anonymous, even so if you use a non-eye country VPN.
    – In my case for using a Non-eye country VPN for the last 12 years I saw the price rising up in the time. From around 33 bucks to start slow evo to 49, jump at 69$ a bit after Snowden breaknews and this year it just jump again from 69 to 99€ for the same yearly plan.
    Maybe You guys are making them to famous, or maybe the service protection cost are rising up cause there is more and more gov pressure on them…

  2. Hello John,

    Nice article and it looks like a well-researched one. I understsand it’s impossible to keep all of them up to date hence I’d like to point out that as a ZoogVPN user, they have recently moved their registered office to Greece (outside the 14-eyes countries). This is great for users like me who are concerned about their VPN service being outside 14-eyes countries. Just the heads up to help you keep the info up to date!
    Cheers

  3. I’d like to say, that many of “non-eyes” countries VPN’s are not panama/bvi/etc. really.

    I did small research, and many of them are using Stripe payment system.
    Stripe is working only with *-eyes countries plus Hong-Kong.

    So when you see “panama/bvi/etc.”, you just see “frontend” company, and you dont really know where real company is located.
    BTW, those VPN companies usually dont share theyr legal entity name in Privacy Polily/Terms of Service (just brand name).

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