ExpressVPN Removes India-Based Servers, Says New Center Rules ‘Limit Internet Freedom’

New Delhi: Indian government new rules for VPN (virtual private network) providers They have claimed their first victim.

Well-known company ExpressVPN has announced that it will remove all of its “India-based VPN servers” in response to the new regulations, calling them “overreaching” and “so broad that they open the window for potential abuse.”

“With a recent data law introduced in India that requires all VPN providers to store user information for at least five years, ExpressVPN has made the very simple decision to remove our India-based VPN servers,” the firm said. it’s a statement.

However, Indian users will still be able to “connect to VPN servers that will give them Indian IP addresses.”

“Rest assured, our users will still be able to connect to VPN servers that will give them Indian IP addresses and allow them to access the Internet as if they were located in India. These ‘virtual’ servers from India will be physically located in Singapore and the UK,” the statement noted.

The company also noted that the “harm caused by the possible misuse of this type of law far outweighs any benefits lawmakers claim would derive from it.”

“ExpressVPN refuses to participate in the Indian government’s attempts to limit Internet freedom. As a company focused on protecting privacy and freedom of expression online, we will continue to fight to keep users connected to the free and open Internet with privacy and security, no matter where they are.”

new directive

In April 2022, the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In), which serves as the national agency to perform various functions in the area of ​​cyber security, announced that A wide range of technology companies, including VPN providers, would be required to store user data to “facilitate incident response measures.”

According to the directive, the following categories of information will need to be recorded:

Validated names of subscribers/clients who contract the services
Rental period including dates
IP assigned or used by members
Email address and IP address and timestamp used at the time of registration/onboarding
Purpose of contracting services
Validated address and contact numbers
Ownership pattern of subscribers/clients who contract services

What The wire reportedthis move drew criticism from most major VPN companies, which do not normally store such data in order to protect the privacy of their customers.

In response to this criticism, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that VPN service providers that do not follow the new rules are “free to leave India”.

ExpressVPN will maintain virtual servers

According to the statement, users who wish to connect to an Indian server can do so via “India (via Singapore)” or “India (via UK)”.

“Virtual server locations are not new to ExpressVPN; in fact, we have been operating our “India (via UK)” server location for a number of years. With virtual locations, the registered IP address matches the country you have chosen to connect to, while the server is physically located in another country. Virtual locations are used, when necessary, to provide faster and more reliable connections.

“As for Internet users residing in India, they can use ExpressVPN with the confidence that their online traffic is not logged, stored, or monitored by their government…As retention laws change of country data, we often find ourselves adjusting our infrastructure. to better protect the privacy and security of our users. In this case, that has meant ending operations in India.”

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