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Use VPN regularly? This parliamentary panel thinks you’re a cyber criminal and wants to ban it forever

The VPN ban was recommended by a Parliamentary Standing Committee to the IT Ministry which didn’t provide a direct answer.

You are reading it here first: Terming it as a ‘technological challenge’ that allegedly allows ‘criminals to remain anonymous online’, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs urged the Indian government to block virtual private networks (VPN).  This comes months after the Indian government liberalised the usage of VPN for Other Service Providers (OSP) in a bid to facilitate work-from-home for the tech industry. As of date, VPN can easily be downloaded, as many websites are providing such facilities and advertising them. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Home Affairs should coordinate with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to identify and permanently block such VPNs with the help of internet service providers.  — The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs These are the other points that the committee made regarding the usage of VPNs — VPNs allow criminals to bypass cyber security mechanisms to access the dark web and remain anonymous online. Recommend that a coordination mechanism should be developed with international agencies to ensure that VPNs are blocked permanently. Ministry (of Home Affairs) must take initiatives to “strengthen tracking and surveillance mechanisms” to put a check on the use of VPN and the dark web. The committee, chaired by Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma, made these recommendations in its “Action Taken By Government on the Recommendations/Observations Contained in the 233rd Report on the Atrocities And Crimes Against Women And Children” which was presented to the Rajya Sabha on August 10. In the report, the committee specifically…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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