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UPDATE: YOU Broadband’s terms of service prohibit VPNs with powerful encryption

YOU Broadband, India's fifth largest wireline Internet provider, has prohibited VPNs with powerful encryption in its fine print. A previous version of this was first pointed out by a user on reddit. This is what it said: The Customer shall not take any steps including adopting any encryption system that prevents or in any way hinders the Company from maintaining a log of the Customer or maintaining or having access to copies of all packages/data originating from the Customer. UPDATE (06/07): YOU Broadband has changed that condition after this story came out, to narrowly address VPNs and encryption: The Customer may use VPN and encryption up to the bit length permitted by the Department of Telecommunications. https://twitter.com/youbroadband/status/882539226775957504 A large portion of content on the Internet is served encrypted these days, with many sites being served over secure HTTPS connections. This makes the content of those webpages completely unreadable to ISPs. On the other hand, Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, serve data through a different location often through a completely encrypted tunnel, using upto 4096 bits of encryption, or more. 40 bits of encryption, which is the DOT's limit, can be broken in a few hours. You Broadband accounts for 0.63 million of India's startlingly low 18.25 million wireline broadband connections. Where have these terms come from? YOU Broadband's terms seem to exist because of guidelines issued in 2007 by the Department of Telecommunications in 2007, prohibiting users from using encryption of more than 40 bits. Interestingly, most standards for HTTPS websites seem to have much…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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