What’s the controversy surrounding VPN services representing the Virtual Private Network? Long VPN has always been a common tool used by millions of users around the world. VPNs are seen as effective tools for secure communication and file transfers online. VPN services are used by many companies in India to protect their networks and digital assets from hackers.
But while VPNs remain effective business tools to enable remote integration into sensitive files, public use of VPNs often faces controversial opposition. Recently, the Parliamentary Executive Committee on Home Affairs called on the Indian government to ban VPN services in the country according to a MediaNama report.
The committee reported that Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are vulnerable to cyber threats and other malicious activities. According to each committee, VPN applications and tools are readily available online and this allows criminals to remain anonymous online.
The MediaNama report recommends that the committee lift the permanent ban on VPN services in the country with the help of Internet service providers throughout India. The report also said the committee wanted the department to take steps to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems.
But before we try to understand why the Parliamentary Executive Committee wants such a tough stand against Virtual Private Network (VPN), let’s take a look at what the benefits of VPN services are.
What are the advantages of VPN service?
VPN tools are very useful and reliable, and 30% of all internet users use a VPN at least once a month, reports Forbes.
VPN services are used by many companies in India to protect their networks and digital assets from hackers.
VPN tools are especially important during shutdown when employees do work from home using their insecure internet connection.
VPN services allow internet users to access restricted content in the country and also remain ‘anonymous’ to some degree online.
VPN tools hide your street to look like your IP address, even if your location is redirected.
Amid growing cybercrime, the huge benefits offered by a VPN service keep you safe as you browse the internet.
Most VPNs provide industry-standard 256-bit AES to protect you from anyone who follows your online activity.
This can be absolutely important in helping to protect your data, especially during a financial transaction so that sensitive material is not stolen.
Using a VPN can allow you to access regional-specific websites that may be legal, but not accessible in your country.
Why the demand for banning VPN services
Parliamentary Standing Committee has proposed to put a check on the use of VPN and the black web.
It is often misunderstood that using a VPN tool is directly related to illegal activities.
A VPN can be easily downloaded, as many websites provide such services and advertise themselves.
VPN and Dark Web services can bypass cyber security walls and allow criminals to remain anonymous online.
A large number of free or cheap VPNs may do exactly the opposite of what we expect of them, collecting and disclosing our information rather than hiding it.
Although we use a reputable and well-developed VPN, we are not yet completely secure from our privacy.
Proposal to ban VPNs has India Inc worried
The Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee’s recommendation to block VPNs in India has left many international and Indian companies in a sizzy. Many companies have been using VPNs to enable safe operation at home from the epidemic.
While the Committee seeks to prevent VPNs from controlling cybercrime, Internet policy experts and security investigators have called it a “strange and misjudged concept” as this will have a significant impact on the data security of MNCs and financial institutions operating remotely. Once the ban is implemented, all companies, from IT firms operating operations far away from banks that make online transactions, will be left high and dry, they said.
Amitabh Singhal, Director, Telxess Consulting Services and former President of the Internet Service Providers Association of India, told BusinessLine: “It is a rare and common rabbit idea to block VPNs. It will be less productive especially for businesses. During Covid’s time many organizations, both local and international, operated at home. They have all been using VPNs to secure their remote networking business. Blocking a VPN will set a bad example and destroy the Internet as a way to do business safely. ”
“Every company uses a VPN solution these days. Also, the entire cloud industry is switching to a hybrid cloud-plus-VPN-based model, ”Sunny Nehra, Admin, Hacks and Security, and the hacker are right, he told BusinessLine. In addition, the ban also violates the government’s reliance on VPN connection procedures in other sectors such as BPOs.
Singhal added, “There are better ways for the government to ensure security. The committee is simply using a security strategy to catch something. I don’t think this is a valid argument because some anti-social devices use VPNs to hide their identity. How do you expect Internet-based companies to run their global and local businesses safely while operating under this ban? ”
The Report of VPN Ban
In a report presented to Rajya Sabha on August 10, the Steering Committee recommended that the Department of Home Affairs meet with the Department of Technology and Information to identify and permanently ban VPNs with the help of internet service providers.
It said, “The Committee is concerned about the technical challenges posed by the VPN service and Dark Web which can bypass cyber security walls and allow criminals to remain anonymous online. To date, VPNs can be easily downloaded because many websites provide such facilities and advertise themselves. ”
“The Committee is also proposing to improve the coordination of international organizations to ensure that these VPNs are permanently blocked,” the report said.
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