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Exclusive: Indian government looks for solution to bypass and trace those using VPNs

While this appears to be targeted at cybercriminals, it could affect a great number of Indians who use VPNs frequently.

Reasoning that cybercriminals often use virtual private networks (VPNs), the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is looking for a solution that can subvert VPNs and can trace IP addresses of users accessing this technology. This comes months after a parliamentary committee report recommended that VPNs be banned. VPN service providers claim to encrypt one's internet traffic and one's online identity, but that hasn't always been the case. The ministry in its 'problem statement' for Smart India Hackathon 2022, a contest where students will participate to work on such ‘problems', said that the solution should — Determine if an IP is actual or a proxy/VPN IP address Trace the actual IP address Provide details of the VPN service provider The usage of VPNs is not just limited to cybercriminals, as Indian government entities would have you believe. A considerable part of India’s workforce, including many defence organisations, use VPNs as part of their daily work. Hackers and cybercriminals use VPNs: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment "Cybercriminals sitting in any corner of the world are able to unleash significant damage through different types of cyber crimes such as hacking, identity theft and ransomware. The anonymity offered by the internet encourages them to commit these attacks without any fear whatsoever. Hackers use various techniques to hide their digital footprint making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to catch and prosecute them. One common technique is to not access the target computer directly but rather through a “proxy” server or a VPN server,…

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

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