Economic Times, September 01, 2021
For those unaware, VPN services are used by most companies in India to secure their networks and digital assets from hackers. Also, VPN tools became all the more important during lockdown when employees were forced to work from home using their unsecured home internet connection.
Terming Virtual Private Network (VPN) services as a threat to counter cyber threats and other nefarious activities, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs reportedly wants the Indian government to ban VPN services in India. As per a report by MediaNama, the committee explained that the reason as to why VPN services should be banned in India is because VPN apps and tools are easily available online and these allow “criminals to remain anonymous online.”
For those unaware, VPN services are used by most companies in India to secure their networks and digital assets from hackers. Also, VPN tools became all the more important during lockdown when employees were forced to work from home using their unsecured home internet connection. While VPN services allow internet users to access content that is blocked in the country and also stay “anonymous” to a certain degree online, the benefits of VPN is immense for companies when it comes to securing networks. The committee also proposed “to put a check on the use of VPN and the dark web.”
According to the report by MediaNama, the committee recommended permanently blocking VPN service with “the help of internet service providers” across India.
“The Committee notes with anxiety the technological challenge posed by VPN services and Dark Web, that can bypass cyber security walls and allow criminals to remain anonymous online. As of date, VPN can easily be downloaded, as many websites are providing such facilities and advertising them. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Home Affairs should coordinate with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to identify and permanently block such VPNs with the help of internet service providers.”
It further suggested that “a coordination mechanism should also be developed with international agencies to ensure that these VPNs are blocked permanently.” The report by MediaNama also said that the committee wants “the Ministry to take initiatives to strengthen the tracking and surveillance mechanisms by further improving and developing the state-of-the-art technology, to put a check on the use of VPN and the dark web.”
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