The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs according to a report by MediaNama wants the Indian government to ban VPN services in the country. The committee has reportedly stated, Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are a threat to counter cyber threats and other nefarious activities. Also Read - Pegasus spyware affected many Indians: What is it, how to protect your phone from it
According to the report, the committee has explained that VPN services should be banned in India because they are easily available online and these allow “criminals to remain anonymous online.” It added that the government should block these services with the help of internet service providers (ISPs). Also Read - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram could be blocked in India on this date: Here's the reason why
The committee has stated that the technological challenge posed by VPN services and Dark Web allows criminals to remain anonymous online. The recommendation states that the “Ministry of Home Affairs should coordinate with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to identify and permanently block such VPNs with the help of ISPs.” Also Read - 5 apps helping people get through the COVID-19 second wave: Twitter, CoWIN, Aarogya Setu
Apart from coordinating internally, the report states that the committee wants the government to set up a coordination mechanism with international agencies to ensure that these VPNs are blocked permanently. It also adds that the Ministry should strengthen the tracking and surveillance mechanisms to put a check on the use of VPN and the dark web.
VPN services are used across the globe for various reasons. Some people use it for official purposes to access office system files from remote locations using unsecured home internet connections. Some people use these services to allow internet users to access content that is blocked in the country and also to stay anonymous online.