Permanently Ban VPN Services in India: Parliamentary Committee Urges Government
Although VPNs are great for accessing inaccessible content online, authorities in India consider them to be great tools for cybercriminals to hide their identity online. As a result, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has urged the Indian government to permanently ban VPN services in the country to protect the interests of its citizens and prevent cybercrime in the country.
According to a recent report from medianama (via Gadgets360), the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has released a report encouraging the Indian government to find out and permanently block VPN services in India. The panel noted the security challenges posed by VPNs to allow cybercriminals to hide their identity online.
Therefore, in a recent report titled “Actions Taken by the Government on Recommendations/Observations in Report 233 Concerning Atrocities and Crimes Against Women and Children”, the Commission suggested to the Government A . must be developed “Coordination Mechanism” By partnering with international agencies to block VPNs permanently in India.
Now, this is not the first time that the commission has taken a stand against VPN services in India. The aforementioned report, which was submitted to the Rajya Sabha recently, is a follow-up to a report launched in March of this year. However, in the latest report, the commission encouraged India’s Home Ministry to work with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to detect and block VPNs permanently.
Although the ministry provided a response to the report, the committee was not satisfied with it. According to reports, India’s Ministry of Health has mentioned several powers by which the government can withhold information from public access. This includes “In the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India; defense of India; security of the state; friendly relations with foreign states or; public order or to prevent incitement to the commission of any identifiable offense relating to the above.”
On the other hand, the ministry informed the commission that if The request to ban VPNs in India came under Section 69a of the Information Technology Act, the autocratic body will be able to start the process according to the rules specified in the said section. Apart from this, however, the organization has not directly responded to the suggestion that VPN services be banned permanently in India.
Other than requesting that VPNs be permanently banned in India, the commission also urged the government to set up more cyber forensic laboratories in India to combat cybercrime. Moreover, he also encouraged the Indian government to update the cybercrime training courses for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in India.