One of VikingVPN's most requested features from users is for us to operate a cluster in London. This is because it gives streaming access to some channels for users, and because it will deliver higher performance for our customers that live inside of the country. Being a performance oriented VPN service, we have been tempted to give our customers what they want, as the nation is increasingly under surveillance and is now dealing with increasing levels of censorship of the internet.
We have resisted opening a cluster inside of the United Kingdom for a big reason. The GCHQ is the most aggressive intelligence agency in the world when it comes to digital surveillance, and it seems that their operations run entirely unchecked by legal authorities. Our organization does not want the liabilities that come with having servers seized, unreasonable demands from government agencies, or a situation where we create a server cluster, only to have to pull it because Britain passes laws outlawing encryption without backdoors or requiring VPN services to keep logs.
The situation with Brexit only reinforces our concerns, as GCHQ was constrained by EU privacy laws, although they frequently did not obey them. The UK leaving the EU removes UK companies and UK infrastructure from needing to be compliant with these laws, and further degrades the environment for us to operate inside of the country.
For these reasons, we cannot reasonably operate a cluster inside of the United Kingdom.
We will be keeping an eye on Scotland. If they leave the UK and rejoin the EU, there is an opportunity for them to also enact and enforce reasonable data privacy laws that will enable us to operate there.
For now, all of our friends in the UK will have to settle for servers operating out of Amsterdam. While our customers in the United Kingdom can enjoy decent speeds from there, we could get much better performance if we could get closer.