Private hosting in Iceland with 1984 hosting

Powered by free software and green energy with their headquarters and equipment in Iceland, 1984 hosting offers private hosting, VPS, domain registration, email and free DNS services, the company claims that they will go the extra mile to protect their customers right of freedom of speech, privacy and anonymity, they will not reply to threatening emails and will only obey a valid Icelandic court order, if they become aware of any investigation by the authorities 1984 hosting will warn the customer unless there is a gagging order, one of the two founders is a member of the Icelandic IMM (International Modern Media Institute), a foundation working for free speech.

Control panel 1984 hosting

Control panel 1984 hosting

I was given a test account to see what their services are like, 1984 shared hosting has a custom hosting panel based on ispCP, simple and easy to use, you will not get lost or wonder where things are, functions can be accessed within a couple of clicks, the panel default language is Icelandic, it can be changed to English, Hungarian, Spanish, Danish and others. On the main tab there are statistics about space and bandwidth, number of SQL databases, FTP accounts and subdomains, backups are perfomed daily and they can be restored using the control panel, custom 404, 401, etc pages can be created too, websites status, like number of visitors, can be measured with awstats. Files can be uploaded using FTP or FTPS (FTP Over Explicit TLS/SSL) with SFTP support being planned for the future, alternatively you can use net2ftp, web based FTP, to upload files via browser, with the hosting account you also get an IMAP/POP3 email account, email can be retrieved with an email client or webmail (SquirrelMail).

If you go for a VPS there is a list of the most common Linux and BSD distros to choose from or you can ask 1984 hosting to install a particular distribution that isn’t there, payments are made with Paypal or credit card.

1984 hosting net2FTP

1984 hosting net2FTP

The Icelandic Parliament will soon introduce a new legislative freedom of expression framework enshrining protection for whistle blowers, information sources, communications, publication restraint orders and others, this makes the hosting company location ideal, but I was baffled by their free speech policy, while claiming to go the extra mile to protect customers civil rights, and hosting many politically sensitive websites they apparently have speech limits, set by what they called in the email exchange “sense of decency“, and made it clear to me that disagreeing with a website will not have an account terminated but they will not allow racist propaganda or pro-pedophile websites on their network as they say they would not sleep at night if they were serving them, and as for warez and copyrighted material, Iceland has the same laws than any other western country and they have to comply with them.

My impression is that 1984 hosting could be a good place to publish whistle-blowing or corporate data leaks and count with strong investigative journalism protection out of the reach of US trigger happy libel laws, or you could use it as an offshore webmail account since their hosting prices are reasonable, but don’t push it too hard towards extreme websites not covered by this host so called “free speech” sense of decency.

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