VPNs are incredibly useful software tools that help you to keep your security on-point and your privacy intact. Not only do they encrypt your data so that not even your internet service provider can access it, but they also allow you to route your web use through different servers spread out around the world so that you may access geo-restricted materials such as different catalogs on Netflix or country specific services such as the BBC iPlayer. Unfortunately, however, a new law in India is causing VPN providers to flee the country so that they can continue to protect the privacy of their users. Here is what you need to know.
Proton VPN, which is a part of the privacy-first suite of Proton apps including Proton Mail, has decided to pull out of India and shut off its servers in the country due to concerns over the controversial new CERT-in regulations that is about to come into force in the country. The move from Proton VPN marks the latest in a series of similar exoduses from the country from the likes of Express VPN, Surfshark, and Nord VPN.
The concerns of the VPN companies relate to being able to effectively protect the privacy of their users. The controversial new law, which will be enforced from September 25, would see VPN companies required to store the private data of their users including their names, IP addresses, various other identifying data, and even usage patterns for five years. Then, should the authorities in the country ever decide that they needed to access the stored information they would be required by law to hand it over to them. Describing the reasoning by the move, Proton Mail said:
“This is against everything we stand for. We work to ensure that Proton VPN keeps your online browsing private with a strict no-logs policy that was recently audited by independent security professionals. […] We have no intention of complying with this invasive mass surveillance law, leaving us no choice but to remove our VPN servers from Indian jurisdiction.”
Fortunately for Proton VPN users seeking access to an Indian IP address, the company is still able to do so via its Smart Routing servers. The only difference is that they will actually be located in Singapore.
In other recent news, Proton Mail has recently gone through a major rebranding effort.