The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) requires VPN services, data centres, ISPs, hosting providers and other internet infrastructure companies operating in India to collect customer data. This data must then be stored for five or more years.
VPN companies may no longer be able to guarantee the privacy of customers in India. According to government instructions, the following data must be collected and stored by companies –
- Users’ full names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers
- Reason for using a VPN
- The usage data of the service.
- IP addresses and emails with which users registered for the Services, plus timestamp of registration.
- All IP addresses that a VPN provider has provided for a user and a list of IP addresses used by the customers
The policy had come into effect on June 28th, 2022. Reputable VPN providers such as NordVPN * and Surfshark * are therefore withdrawing their services from India.
How do I get an Indian IP address now
Both Surfshark and NordVPN are ceasing to operate physical servers in India. However, the VPN services continue to work in the country. The Government of India has no influence on servers that are abroad.
Surfshark will provide virtual servers in India that will give you an Indian IP address even if the server is not in India.
Surfshark’s virtual servers
The government requires VPN providers to collect their customers’ data and hand it out on request. Reputable providers are therefore withdrawing from India.
You can get an Indian IP address from providers like Surfshark *, who are now providing virtual servers in India. The server is not in India and you still get an Indian IP address. This means that the government has no access to your data.
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