Recently the Cert-In issued norms under which VPN providers have to record personal information of their customers, including purpose of using service, for five years
- VPN companies to record personal information of their users including names, email id, phone number and IP address for a period of five years.
- They also have to record usage patterns, purpose of hiring services and various other information.
- Apart from VPN companies, data centers, virtual service network providers, cloud service providers have also been asked to record and maintain similar data.
- In the form of Know Your Customer (KYC), virtual asset service providers, virtual asset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers would also be recording information for the same period along with records of financial transactions.
- The directives will take effect the end of June. And if the data is not handed over to the government by then, the entities would face punitive action.
Government logic behind new rules
- The Centre said these rules will “enhance overall cyber security posture and ensure safe & trusted internet in the country”.
- It noted that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which serves as a safeguard against cyber attacks, has identified “gaps” in the way it analyses online threats due to which it has issued the new norms for reporting cyber incidents.
How are VPN providers reacting to the norms?
- With the new rules the government will basically have access to the personal information of the customers which makes the use of a VPN redundant.
- Many VPN providers are mulling the implications of the new rules and some have even threatened to pull back their service from the country.
- VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and describes the opportunity to establish a protected network connection when using public networks.
- VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and disguise your online identity. This makes it more difficult for third parties to track your activities online and steal data. The encryption takes place in real time.
What are the benefits of a VPN connection?
- Secure encryption: To read the data, you need an encryption key. Without one, it would take millions of years for a computer to decipher the code in the event of a brute force attack. With the help of a VPN, your online activities are hidden even on public networks.
- Disguising your whereabouts : VPN servers essentially act as your proxies on the internet. Because the demographic location data comes from a server in another country, your actual location cannot be determined.
- Access to regional content: Regional web content is not always accessible from everywhere. Services and websites often contain content that can only be accessed from certain parts of the world. With VPN location spoofing , you can switch to a server to another country and effectively “change” your location.
- Secure data transfer: If you work remotely, you may need to access important files on your company’s network. For security reasons, this kind of information requires a secure connection. VPN services connect to private servers and use encryption methods to reduce the risk of data leakage.
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