According to recent Turkish media reports, investigators in Turkey allege that a still-unknown individual used ExpressVPN in an attempt to delete evidence related to last year’s assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov. This individual, according to the reports, logged into the Gmail and Facebook accounts of the assassin (off-duty police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş) and deleted conversations that would have been relevant to the investigation.
As we stated to Turkish authorities in January 2017, ExpressVPN does not and has never possessed any customer connection logs that would enable us to know which customer was using the specific IPs cited by the investigators. Furthermore, we were unable to see which customers accessed Gmail or Facebook during the time in question, as we do not keep activity logs. We believe that the investigators’ seizure and inspection of the VPN server in question confirmed these points.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, an offshore jurisdiction with strong privacy legislation and no data retention requirements. Nevertheless, that does not mean that ExpressVPN or its users are above the law.
The assassination of Ambassador Andrey Karlov was a tragic crime. We absolutely do not condone any attempts to interfere with the investigation into the incident. ExpressVPN’s Terms of Service require customers to agree to not use ExpressVPN for anything other than lawful purposes.
VPNs are first and foremost security tools that help to protect users from being hacked, tracked, monitored or otherwise compromised. As such, the ExpressVPN service is built from the ground up to provide the best protection possible, including ensuring that our servers do not contain personal data about anyone’s online activity.
While it’s unfortunate that security tools like VPNs can be abused for illicit purposes, they are critical for our safety and the preservation of our right to privacy online. ExpressVPN is fundamentally opposed to any efforts to install “backdoors” or attempts by governments to otherwise undermine such technologies.