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After ExpressVPN, Surfshark is shutting down servers in India over government guidelines

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HIGHLIGHTS :

  • Surfshark has announced that it is shutting down its servers in India, making it the second major VPN provider to do so.
  • This is in response to the Indian government’s guidelines for virtual private network (VPN) service providers.
  • Earlier this month, ExpressVPN had shut down its servers in the country.

Surfshark has announced that it is shutting down its servers in India

After ExpressVPN, Surfshark became the second major virtual private network (VPN) provider to shut down its servers in India in response to the country’s new cybersecurity directive which requires VPNs to store user data for a period of five years. The company said that VPN providers leaving India “isn’t good for its burgeoning IT sector”.

the VPN service provider confirmed that it will be shutting down its Indian servers by June 26, before the proposed new data law comes into effect.
“Surfshark proudly operates under a strict ‘no logs policy, so such new requirements go against the core ethos of the company,” a Surfshark spokesperson wrote in the email. “The infrastructure that Surfshark runs on has been configured in a way that respects the privacy of our users, and we will not compromise our values — or our technical base,” the statement added.

This is in response to the Indian government’s guidelines for virtual private network (VPN) service providers.

However, India’s new provisions added into section 70B of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, require VPN providers to abandon their core values by retaining usage details, allotted IP addresses, the purpose of using the services, user address, contact details, and more.

Surfshark says that India’s legal action is radical and harms the privacy of the country’s netizens instead of protecting it.

Earlier this month, ExpressVPN had shut down its servers in the country.

“Taking such radical action that highly impacts the privacy of millions of people living in India will most likely be counterproductive and strongly damage the sector’s growth in the country,” reads Surfshark’s announcement.

“Ultimately, collecting excessive amounts of data within Indian jurisdiction without robust protection mechanisms could lead to even more breaches nationwide.”

Prior to Surfshark, ExpressVPN removed its servers from India following the cybersecurity directive released by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). This may not be the last one, as at least one more VPN provider in NordVPN too is contemplating removing its India servers.

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