NordVPN will now comply with law enforcement data requests

NordVPN on a MacBook
(Image credit: Unsplash, Petter Lagson)

NordVPN (opens in new tab) has clarified its position regarding whether or not it will comply with information requests from international law enforcement agencies. 

As reported (opens in new tab) by PCMag, the VPN (opens in new tab) provider reached out to the news outlet saying that it “will comply with lawful requests as long as they are delivered according to all laws and regulations”. NordVPN also stressed that while it is a company that protects the security and privacy of its customers, it does “operate according to laws and regulations”.

This clarification follows a recent joint operation led by Europol in which law enforcement authorities from 10 different countries seized 15 servers (opens in new tab) from a separate VPN provider. Unlike NordVPN which provides VPN services to businesses and consumers, the now defunct VPNLab (opens in new tab) mainly catered to cybercriminals. 

In its announcement saying VPNLab had been shut down, Europol implied that the VPN provider's refusal to cooperate with authorities was the reason behind the takedown.

Law enforcement data requests

NordVPN's new stance on complying with law enforcement data requests is quite different from what the company wrote in a blog post back in 2017, which reads: “NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama and will not comply with requests from foreign governments and law enforcement agencies” 

Now though, the original blog post (opens in new tab) has been edited and the post now reads: “NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama and will only comply with requests from foreign governments and law enforcement agencies if these requests are delivered according to laws and regulations.” 

The revised blog post (opens in new tab) also goes a bit further in regard to NordVPN's zero-logs policy by explaining that the company will log a user's VPN activity if there is a court order to do so: “We are 100% committed to our zero-logs policy – to ensure users’ ultimate privacy and security, we never log their activity unless ordered by a court in an appropriate, legal way.” Meanwhile, the company updated its privacy policy (opens in new tab) back in July of last year with a new section that contains further details on information requests.

A NordVPN spokesperson explained in an email to TechRadar Pro that the sole reason it changed its blog post in the first place was to dissociate its company from bad actors following PCMag's original article (opens in new tab) on the matter. Customers that want to learn more about how NordVPN protects their privacy can check out this new blog post (opens in new tab) for additional details.

While NordVPN says that it will now comply with law enforcement data requests and court orders, its real-time warrant canary (opens in new tab) still says that it has never received any national security letters, gag orders or warrants from government organizations asking for user information. At the same time, as the company offers a no-logs VPN (opens in new tab), there is very little if any data it could give to law enforcement agencies even if they requested it.

We've also highlighted the best VPN (opens in new tab), best proxy (opens in new tab) and best privacy apps (opens in new tab)

Via PCMag (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.