We host our users’ data on servers in Iceland because this offers the strongest legal protection for email users that want security and privacy. Here are the reasons why:
1. Iceland Has No Data Retention Laws for Webmail. When you delete an email, it is instantly deleted and no backups are retained. It’s worth noting that the Icelandic Electronic Communications Act 81/2003 requires ISPs to record and store data for 6 months. CTemplar is not an ISP, so these data retention laws do not apply to us. ISPs are only able to detect that you visit our site, the duration of your visit and the data transferred between your computer and our email site. ISPs and CTemplar are NOT able to read your emails. You can protect yourself from ISPs in Iceland and elsewhere by using a VPN.
2. Iceland Legally Allows for Total Anonymity. You need anonymity and here’s why. We provide total anonymity and no IP logging because the laws allow us to. In Iceland, you can even buy a SIM card without registration. Email services in the US and Switzerland are legally required to track your IP address even if you disable IP tracking.
3. Iceland Legally Protects Whistleblowers & Activists. In 2010 Iceland passed the Modern Media Initiative “designed to make Iceland a safe haven for journalists and whistleblowers”. Edward Snowden even considered flying to Iceland instead of Hong Kong as a location for his leaks. After the Snowden revelations, Iceland expanded and strengthened their privacy laws citing Edward Snowden as their inspiration.
4. Icelandic Courts & Judges Fight for Privacy. CTemplar only shares users’ data when served with a valid Icelandic court order. Iceland’s commitment to privacy is so strong that most all requests for court orders are denied. However, Icelandic laws will not protect those involved in child pornography.
5. Outside the 14-Eyes and no MLATs. Iceland is not part of the privacy abusing “14-Eyes” coalition of countries. Countries included in this group are forced to share their citizens’ private information between all the other 14 countries. Iceland has no MLAT treaties that can require broad access.
It is illegal for us to share user data without a valid Icelandic court order. If we are served with a valid Icelandic court order then we will give them your encrypted emails. Location is only 25% of what you need in a secure email service. Click here to read about the other 75%.
The CTemplar Team