NSA privacy fears driving business back to UK hosting providers

By Danny Palmer
28 Jan 2014 View Comments
Milton Keynes datacentre

The exposure of US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance practices by whistle-blower Edward Snowden has resulted in UK businesses worried about privacy removing their data from US hosting providers and moving it back to British servers.

That's according to Lawrence Jones, CEO of internet hosting company UKFast, whose customers include the NHS and British Cycling. He says British firms want to store data in Britain in order to prevent the US government from snooping on customer information.

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"Since the revelations about the NSA and the Patriot Act have come to light, we have had an influx of British customers who have come to us because they want their data stored on British soil where those laws don't apply," Jones wrote in a blog post.

"Being able to physically see the data centres where their data is looked after is a huge benefit as well, especially when there's razor wire prison fencing and gates around the perimeter. In my opinion, there's no excuse to not take even the physical security this seriously," he added.

The post was made on Data Privacy Day, an annual event run by human rights organisation Council of Europe with the aim of raising awareness surrounding issues regarding data protection and data privacy.

"Personally, I welcome today's focus on protecting ourselves online. We live in an increasingly connected world where anyone can easily put anything online," said Jones.

"It's become something of a commodity, but the consequences of not investing in the appropriate safeguards can be huge. It's an old adage but it still holds true today: 'Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail'," he concluded.

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