Major global VPN providers shut off servers in India to protest new privacy-destroying government rules

Major global providers of virtual private networks, which let internet users shield their identities online, are shutting down their servers in India to protest new government rules they say threaten their customers’ privacy.


Newley Purnell for The Wall Street Journal:

The Indian agency overseeing computer security will soon require VPN operators in India to collect information such as customer’s names, email addresses and the IP addresses they use to connect to the internet. Providers must maintain the data for at least five years and furnish the information to authorities when asked…

[T]he withdrawing VPN companies and internet-rights groups say by collecting such data, the companies will imperil their users’ privacy and curtail online speech. Digital groups say the government’s rules amount to overreach and are more typical of those imposed in China or Russia than in democracies.

Such rules are “typically introduced by authoritarian governments in order to gain more control over their citizens,” said a spokeswoman for Nord Security, provider of NordVPN, which has stopped operating its servers in India. “If democracies follow the same path, it has the potential to affect people’s privacy as well as their freedom of speech,” she said.

The rules are the latest challenge facing international technology companies in the world’s most populous democracy… The government has in recent years moved to tamp down online dissent on platforms such as Twitter Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook…

Also affected by the new rules are global cloud operators, which will be required to store and furnish data on customers.

Representatives for Amazon Web Services, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp. declined to comment on whether they would comply with the new regulations, or if they were already following the rules. A spokesman for Apple Inc. didn’t respond to a request for comment.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, this would affect Apple’s iCloud Private Relay which is designed to protect user privacy by ensuring that when users browse the web in Safari, no single party — not even Apple — can see both who you are and what sites you’re visiting.

Apple’s service would not comply with India’s draconian privacy-destroying regulations.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said it best:

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.

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  1. Blatant hypocrisy from MDN. Instead of moderating within clear guidelines, this site now enables bullies and censorship to push its political agenda. Mac news is a distant afterthought.

  2. ‘Apple’s service would not comply with India’s draconian privacy-destroying regulations.‘

    We know Apple will crack down on Russia, and possibly India but what’s the chance Apple stands up to the CCP China

  3. Facebook censored content posted to its platform, apparently at the Biden administration’s request, based on so-called third party fact checkers who are known to be biased and beholden to Democrat interests. Facebook also explained that it was taking strict action to suppress content on its platform labeled as merely “lacking context” as if it were rated to be entirely false.

    It wasn’t just Facebook colluding with the Biden administration, either. Twitter scheduled meetings with White House officials to discuss “vaccine misinformation.”

    Meanwhile, both Twitter and Facebook emails with Biden administration officials show the two entities colluding directly in a relationship where “claims” flagged by big tech companies would face “debunking” in regular meetings with the CDC’s “experts.” That is, what the Biden administration decided was harmful “misinformation” would then presumably be squashed by big tech companies at the expense of free speech on their platforms.

    In addition to speech related to COVID, the Biden administration pursued a proactive relationship with big tech companies whenever scandal hit, such as the embarrassingly botched rollout of the allegedly discontinued Disinformation Governance Board.

    The documents uncovered are just the beginning of the probe into what the Biden administration has been doing when it comes to using its position of power to get big tech companies to censor Americans’ speech.

    1. You’re the boy who called wolf, with one exception from the original story. There never will be a wolf. Just your endless BS supporting tyrannical regimes. You’d have at least a modicum of credibility if you ever challenged anything coming from republican “leadership” but you lap it up like a dog lapping up his own vomit.

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