Data Embassy is an extension in the cloud of the Estonian government, which means the state owns server resources outside its territorial boundaries. This is an innovative concept for handling state information, since states usually store their information within their physical boundaries. Data Embassy resources are under Estonian state control, secured against cyberattacks or crisis situations with KSI blockchain technology, and are capable not only providing data backups, but also operating the most critical services.
When we say “data embassy”, we mean a data centre. It is located in Luxembourg under a Tier 4 level of security – the highest level for data facilities. It is not an embassy in the traditional diplomatic sense and while the founding agreement does take into account the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, it is something completely new under international law. It is fully under the control of Estonia, but has the same rights as physical embassies such as immunity.
Luxembourg is the first data embassy location because of the high quality technical capacity, but also because of their openness to work with this new concept. In this collaboration, Luxembourg and Estonia are pathfinders in creating a unique and innovative way to ensure digital continuity in the world.
Data Embassy kick-off took place in 2015 and the finalised agreement between Estonia and Luxembourg was signed in 2017. The development of the Estonian Government Cloud is a collaboration between the Estonian Government and private sector companies, including Cybernetica, Dell EMC, Ericsson, OpenNode and Telia.