From Iceland — Terrorist Website Was Hosted In Iceland

Terrorist Website Was Hosted In Iceland

Published September 22, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons

Last June, Reykjavík District Court ruled in favour of the capital area police that a hosting company in Iceland is obliged to hand over all the information it has on a website it used to host, RÚV reports. This request came at the behest of law enforcement overseas, and the site itself is said to have belonged to an as yet unnamed terrorist organisation.

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The site in question reportedly encouraged people to commit acts of terror in their own country or abroad, or to spread propaganda to do the same. The ruling to hand over all information about this site, including payment information, emails, site cookies and more was recently made public by the Appellate Court.

At the same time, the naming of the hosting company, the website, and the terrorist organisation in question was not disclosed.

Pétur Hrafn Hafstein, an assistant prosecutor at the State Attorney’s office, responded to inquiries from reporters on the matter by saying that due to the sensitive nature of the case, and the ongoing investigations of law enforcement overseas, it is not possible to disclose any identifying information about the case at this time.

Important to note is that there is a difference between hosting a site and providing a .is domain; the former means that the site’s servers are physically located in Iceland, while the latter simply means that the web address ends with .is and directs the visitor to the server of the website.

There have been two known occasions where extremists used a .is domain for their websites which ISNIC, the company that registers .is domains, subsequently revoked: the Islamic State, in 2014, and the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, in 2017. ISNIC chose to disconnect the .is for the Islamic State of their own volition, without being ordered to do so by the state. The Daily Stormer’s .is was removed because the site owner refused to abide the terms of service regarding providing proof of identity and location.

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