New laws – Protecting citizens or snooping tool ?

By | September 24, 2014

Is the government watching out for citizens or opening the possibility to spy on them?

Since we have users in pretty much all internet connected countries in the world, it is normal that various rules and regulations in different countries can affect us. Earlier today we got a question from Russian television station asking us what we think of the new Russian laws that oblige Russian companies to use only servers based in Russia. This is unfortunately not the only country with such laws but this new law seems to become now more and more common. The big question is, why do governments apply such laws, is it for their people or is it so they can spy on their people? Unfortunately, when you think about this, the only real reason is that they want to be able to spy on their citizens. If all data concerning a person is based in the country where they live, the governmental agencies can access this data with ease which would not be the case would the data be in another country. Then they would need a court order.

Anyway, here is our answer to the Russian television station, MIR TV.

Thank you for asking our opinion on this matter.

We have noticed increased pressure in this direction, not only from Russia but also from other countries. The governments claim that this is for the protection of their citizens but I think that the reason is exactly the opposite and this is because they are trying to get more control over the data and to have access to the private life of their citizens and their actions on the Internet.

We have not taken decision on what we will be doing, we have our main servers in a secure location and in a country with strong privacy laws but it is though possible that we will be moving them altogether to Iceland as they are probably the safest place to store data so that governments from other countries or their agencies can not access it without a very good reason and a court order from Icelandic courts.

Iceland is on the forefront of making privacy laws and we may very likely decide to use that country for our future storage for all our users based in any country but today we are servicing users from pretty much all internet connected countries in the world. Furthermore, there is no secret agency service in Iceland, there is no army in Iceland and the police is working on normal criminal issues rather than to spy on what normal citizens are doing. To get access to any data based on servers in Iceland the police would need to go through the court system. This is not the case in Russia, nor in USA and many other countries where government agencies can get access to all data whenever they want. If these countries and many more are thinking about their citizens they would in fact endorse companies to use services and servers in countries like Iceland.
If the governments are thinking of the wellbeing of their citizens they should rather define which countries would be prefered to store the data. If they enforce it to be based on servers in only their own country it simply proofs the malintentions of the relevant government meaning only that they want to have full access rights to all the citizen’s data at all times.

Fortunately, the data of our users should normally not be government sensitive as this is a booking system and not a communication system, which governments usually fear the most but I can only say that we can not endorse laws that are limiting the privacy of people.

Ingvar Guðmundsson


What is our user’s opinion on this? Feel free to add your comments.

2 thoughts on “New laws – Protecting citizens or snooping tool ?

  1. Sarah Mayor

    So, which country do you keep your servers in? You mentioned the U.S. is not safe because the government can get access, and that is true. So, I’m wondering where your servers are.

    Thank you,



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