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Tags Current Affairs

New VPN rules

Date: 09 May 2022 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers

Issue

The CERT-In has asked virtual private network (VPN) companies to collect customer data and maintain it for five years or more.

 

Details

  • VPN companies will have to store user information even after they delete their account or cancel their subscription.

  • Companies will have to store user names, IP addresses, usage patterns, and other forms of identifiable information.

  • The policy will come into action from June 2022. Vulnerabilities such as fake mobile apps, data breaches, and unauthorized access to social media accounts etc have been asked to report.

 

Implications

    • Companies will have to give up on user privacy by storing information. Earlier, they did not have any storage mechanisms.

    • Switching to storage servers means higher costs for companies. Many companies are contemplating exiting Indian market for fear of implementation.

 

Impact on users

    • Keeping data allows VPN companies to access connection logs. They can identify IP address and server originally connected to. This information can be shared with enforcement agencies.

    • The address of websites visited, messages sent or received and list of applications and services accessed through device can be monitored.

 

VPN

VPN is a tool that masks internet address of user to give them privacy and anonymity. This makes it more difficult for third parties to track activities online or steal data. 

 

Working

    • VPN encrypts internet traffic and disguises online identity. The traffic is directed through a third-party server.

    • Currently, VPNs operate only with RAM-disk servers and other log-less technology to prevent any data capture. 

 

Concerns with VPN

  • VPN is used by individuals to perform illegal actions on the internet such as accessing banned websites.

  • Antinational forces use VPN to hide their activities from government agencies. This is especially true for terrorists.

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