Due to the imminent arrival unsafe privacy laws, another of the best VPN providers in the world has decided to discontinue its Indian servers.
After ExpressVPN left India and Surfshark promised to pull its servers from, it is Hide. me turns to leave the country. This is because India’s new data retention laws “make operating a zero-log VPN difficult”.
India’s new CERT In directives will be in force by the end of this month. They will require VPN companies that keep user data, such as IP addresses and real names, for up to five year. This information must also be available for authorities to request.
“It’s a shame that India has decided that this new law is diametrically opposed what a VPN should offer,” said the provider in a blog post (opens in new tab).
What does this mean to Hide.me users from India?
Hide.me doesn’t plan on introducing Virtual Servers to protect users’ privacy, unlike ExpressVPN or Surfshark.
Indians will be able to continue using their HIde.me subscriptions, but will need to choose from one of its servers outside of India. subscribers have up to 2,000 servers available in 75 countries, some of them in the vicinity like Vietnam and Indonesia.
Only difference is that Hide.me users will no longer be able browse the internet with an Indian IP. TechRadar was informed by the provider that they had removed the server immediately after the announcement. Users can expect the server to be taken offline sometime during the week.
The provider stated that they hoped to repeal the new law in time so that servers can be operated in India again.
What is India’s latest data retention law?
India’s new data retention laws do not only affect VPN providers. Cloud storage, virtual private server ( VPS), and data centers will all be affected by the new CERT-In regulations. These directives were created to combat cybercrime. They have raised many concerns in the tech sector as well as privacy advocates groups.
Experts and libertarians worry that these intrusive regulations could be misused to encourage mass surveillance and weaken citizens’ civil liberties.
It’s not only privacy concerns. India’s new data law could have a negative effect on its fast-growing IT industry. Future Market Insights Chief Opera Officer Sudip Saha stated to TechRadar that bans on VPNs will primarily harm corporate interests, acting as a disincentive for investments and doing business here.
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