On a cold, windy December afternoon in the southern Icelandic town of Reykjanesbaer, this former NATO airbase looked like nothing more than a huge warehouse from the outside.
But the barbed-wire fence surrounding it and surveillance cameras atop its gates betrayed its importance.
This facility, which began operating in February 2012, is one of several data centres in Iceland. It's run by Verne Global, a company that allows its customers to store data on servers here.
Tate Cantrell, the company's chief technical officer, explained why Verne Global favoured this tiny Nordic nation of all places. "In Iceland, you've got this ideal situation: energy, excellent connectivity for data, and a constant cool climate. So Iceland was an obvious choice."
Iceland's abundant renewable energy from geothermal and hydroelectric plants means the costs of running these data centres are low. And the Gulf Stream current keeps the temperature in Iceland more or less stable throughout the year, avoiding the need to provide cooling for the servers and computers.
Data centres based here have another advantage, too: Iceland is in the initial stage of implementing the most progressive data-privacy laws in the world, a major selling point especially after whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations regarding widespread surveillance by the United States' National Security Agency (NSA).
A recent paper published by Verne Global stated that Iceland was "uniquely positioned as a data privacy haven" because of the new regulations.
Habiter un logement avec une facture énergétique nulle... ou ... DNA - Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace Le projet lauréat de la future tour de logements à énergie positive de l'éco-quartier Danube, à Strasbourg, a été dévoilé ce vendredi après-midi.
Moins de lumière pour économiser l'énergie. crédits : Flickr - paspog. [04/07/2013]. Depuis le 1er juillet, bureaux, commerces et bâtiments sont appelés à éteindre les éclairages inutiles de 1h à 7h du matin.
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