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Should you be using a VPN in India? Understand its laws and privacy

Should you be using a VPN in India? Understand its laws and privacy

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VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, is a popular tool used by millions of users around the world. For many, VPNs are seen as powerful tools for communicating and transferring files securely on the Internet, and in some cases, as an alternative solution to restricting a specific location to information imposed for specific reasons. While VPNs remain effective enterprise tools to enable remote collaboration on sensitive files, the public use of VPNs has often faced controversial scrutiny.

Benefits of using VPNs in India

Like other parts of the world, Indians often use VPNs for a variety of purposes. Simply put, a VPN disguises your traffic to make it look like your IP address, or your location is somewhere else. Now, due to the nature of this tool, it is often misunderstood that the use of a VPN is directly related to illegal activities. In truth, using a VPN has far greater implications than simply bypassing location restrictions, such as accessing websites that are blocked in a particular region.

With today’s tense cybersecurity climate, the biggest advantage a VPN offers is to keep you safe while you browse online. Most VPNs that are worth the money not only hide your actual Internet address, but also offer industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption to protect you from anyone tracking your online activity. This can be critical in helping you protect your data, especially during financial transactions. Although it is not completely unbreakable, it is still very safe to use a secure network to conduct your transactions, so that your passwords, card details, and other sensitive items are not stolen.

Furthermore, using a VPN can allow you to access region-specific websites which may be legal, but not accessible in your country. This can help you read a wide range of articles from publications across the web, or even view content created elsewhere.

Is it legal?

With these benefits in hand, it is crucial to note that the simple activity of using a VPN is not illegal in India. In fact, there are absolutely no laws regarding VPN usage in India, as long as you are using the VPN without any illegal activities, you don’t have to worry about it.

However, the reason VPNs get such a bad reputation is that they are used for activities that are considered illegal in India. The biggest and most common use case here is to access content that has been blacklisted by the Indian government (such as pornography), or torrent sites that facilitate the distribution of pirated content. The latter is the most common issue to sue, and it is copyright infringement and creating pirated content, not the use of a VPN, that can get you in legal trouble.

What are the fees?

As a result, if you are tracked while using a website that allows you to view, download and distribute illegally uploaded content (i.e. hosted online without paying royalties due to the content creator), the Indian government may sue you under Sections 63, 63A, 65 and 65A of Copyright Act 1957 under the Constitution of India. If you get caught downloading an unauthorized copy of a movie, or streaming it from a website illegally hosting it, you could face legal prosecution of up to three years in prison, and a fine of up to 300,000 rupees. .

As a result, you as an internet user in India are quite straightforward to use a VPN service, and doing so is actually recommended due to the dangers of malware and ransomware spreading across different parts of the internet. However, it is important for users to exercise their judgment, and to avoid accessing any website or content that could amount to copyright infringement by the definition of the Internet in India.

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