New regulations will make it impossible to use your favorite VPN in India. These new regulations will force VPN providers to store and collect a large number of customer data for five years.
According to (opens new tab), the Computer Emergency Response Team CERT in(opens new tab), which is under control of the country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has published a new set of instructions in an attempt to coordinate response activities and emergency measures in relation to cyber security incidents.
However, VPN providers are not the only ones that must store customer data. The directions also apply to data centres, cryptocurrency exchanges, and Virtual Private Server ( (opens in new window)) providers.
Companies in these industries must register customers names, customer ownership patterns and customer contact information beginning in June.
Cyber incident response can be improved at a lower cost
The new order by CERT-in appears to be aimed to ensure that the agency can respond within six hours to any cyber incident. Although the order may seem well-intentioned, it is unusual to see the extent of data CERT in asks organizations to store and give upon request.
CERT-in mandates organizations to report data breaches and attacks on server infrastructure, as well as unauthorized access to user’s social network accounts (opens in new tab). Failure to provide necessary information can result in a business being subject to Section 70B(7) under the IT Act (opens in new tab), which can lead to up to one-year imprisonment.
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Another problem with the Indian government’s plan? Most VPNs have a no logs policy (opens in new window) or, at most, keep user data temporary. Many VPN providers and other IT companies may be forced to stop operating in India because they are no longer allowed to legally do business there.
Unless the compliance window is extended, the new directions will take effect at the end June. Consumers and businesses should still get one of the Best India VPNs (opens in new window) until then.