Facebook starts first servers outside the US (Update)

Jun 12, 2013 by Malin Rising

Facebook on Wednesday started processing data through its first server farm outside the United States, on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Sweden.

The company inaugurated servers in about half of its new, 300,000-square foot (28,000-square meter) facility outside the city Lulea Wednesday, saying it should improve the social network's performance in Europe.

Facebook director of site operations Tom Furlong told the Associated Press the company will expand capacity at the site gradually to serve a large chunk of Facebook's European users.

Facebook is one of nine major U.S. Internet providers whose customers' usage is swept up every day by an NSA counterterror surveillance program. The secret court order that authorizes the program, named PRISM, only allows it to examine foreigners' internet usage overseas.

Furlong didn't want to comment on the program but said the data stored in Sweden is replicated in other locations in the U.S.

Jon Karlung, a campaigner for Internet freedom and CEO of Swedish Internet service provider Banhof, said the fact that the servers are located in Sweden doesn't change anything.

"Everything is mirrored so there will be no security for those who use it," he said.

When Facebook announced its plans to build the new server farm in Sweden two years ago, Internet activists warned it would expose users to potential eavesdropping from Sweden's National Defense Radio Establishment, also known by its Swedish initials FRA.

Karlung on Wednesday said the NSA program appears to be much more far-reaching than the FRA surveillance scheme that has been ongoing since 2008.

"FRA gets a momentary glimpse of what is happening, but PRISM has access to systems where everything from the past is stored," Karlung told the Associated Press, calling the new facility in Lulea a "giant spying center."

Furlong dismissed those allegations with a simple "No."

Facebook said it chose to locate its servers in Lulea partly because of the cold climate—crucial for maintaining the servers' temperature—and access to renewable energy from nearby hydropower facilities. The move reflects the growing international presence of the California-based site, which counts 1.11 billion users worldwide.

Explore further: US turns up heat on Takata over air bag problem (Update)

3.3 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Arctic chill brings Facebook data center to Sweden

Oct 27, 2011

(AP) -- Facebook will build a new server farm on the edge of the Arctic Circle - its first outside the U.S. - that will improve performance for European users of the social networking site, officials said ...

Report: Facebook plans huge server farm in Sweden

Oct 26, 2011

Facebook plans to build a large server farm in northern Sweden near the Arctic Circle, taking advantage of the chilly climate to keep its equipment cool, a Swedish newspaper reported Wednesday

Google, Facebook condemn online spying

Jun 08, 2013

Google chief Larry Page and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg condemned online spying Friday and called for governments to be more revealing about snooping on the Internet.

New reports allege vast US Internet spying sweep

Jun 07, 2013

US spies are secretly tapping into servers of nine Internet giants including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google in a vast anti-terror sweep targeting foreigners, explosive reports said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Will Apple Pay be mobile pay's kick-start?

3 hours ago

If anyone can get us to use our smartphones as wallets, it's Apple. That's what experts think about the recent launch of Apple Pay, the first mobile wallet to work on an iPhone.

Google execs discuss regulation, innovation and bobble-heads

5 hours ago

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg help run Google, one of the world's best-known, most successful - and most controversial - companies. They've just published a new book, "How Google Works," a guide to managing what they ...

Gamers' funding fuels meteoric rise of 'Star Citizen'

6 hours ago

Chris Roberts' brain spun out a grand vision: a rich, immersive galaxy; exquisite spaceships traversing between infinite star systems with thousands of computer gamers manning the cockpits, racing, dogfighting and defending ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.