NEW DELHI : Express VPN is the first virtual private network service provider to reject the new government regulations, effective June 27, and has decided to move its servers out of India.
In a blog post on Thursday, the company said it “refused to participate in the Indian government’s attempt to restrict internet freedom”.
According to an order of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology dated April 28, VPN companies are responsible for collecting and storing verified names, email addresses, contact numbers and IP addresses allocated to users. their registration for 5 years and share it with relevant government agencies when and upon request.
British Virgin Islands-owned ExpressVPN alleged that the new laws were “excessively violated” and would open “a window to potential abuse”.
“The potential harm from abuse of this type of law far outweighs the benefits that lawmakers claim will come from it,” the company said.
Express VPN says it will not collect browsing history, connection logs, timestamps, traffic destinations, or session durations that can be used to identify an individual or their online activity. surname.
However, they said the closure of servers in India will not affect their customers. “Our users will be able to connect to VPN servers that provide an Indian IP address and allow them to access the internet as if they were located in India.” Express’ virtual servers will be located in Singapore and the UK, it added.
In May, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Foreign Minister for Electronics and IT, said that VPN companies must follow the rules, or they could leave India.
NordVPN has also threatened to pull servers out of India if they are forced to collect and share user data. Switzerland’s ProtonVPN has also expressed concern about the new rules and said it has committed to its no-logs policy.
“Indian users who want to remain anonymous and choose how they appear in the browser require access to servers abroad, not in India. The removal of the Indian servers will not affect them,” said Amit Jaju, senior managing director of Ankura Consulting Group.
Jaju said it is more likely to affect an Indian living abroad using a VPN server in India to access the service.
However, VPN companies can find a way around this by setting up a gateway in India and routing traffic through it on a server located in another country.
Jaju added: “VPN providers have navigated the rules around the world.
Karan Saini said: “The withdrawal of servers from India may be related to the possibility that the Indian government may request user data from customers outside of India. , a cybersecurity researcher.