The Netherlands firm to host ‘virtual servers’ for Indian users; takes a cue from Express VPN decision
A week after Express VPN decided to close down servers in India, SurfShark, a Virtual Private Network service provider, has decided to shut down its servers in India ahead of the new data regulation law that will come into force.
The new laws require VPN providers to record and keep customers’ logs for six months, while collecting and keeping the customer data for five years.
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, SurfShark points out.
“Collecting excessive amounts of data within Indian jurisdiction without robust protection mechanisms could lead to even more breaches nationwide,” it feels.
“We operate under a strict ‘no logs’ policy. The new requirements go against the core ethos of the company. A VPN is an online privacy tool, and SurfShark was founded to make it as easy to use for the common users as possible,” the company has announced in a blog post.
Express VPN, based out of British Virgin Islands, also cited the same reasons last week as it announced closure of its servers in India.
SurfShark asserts that its infrastructure was configured in a way that respects the privacy of the users. “We will not compromise our values – or our technical base,” it said.
The firm feels that VPN suppliers leaving the country didn’t augur well for the IT sector.
What will change
The users can login to the service till the law comes into force. Post that, the company will open virtual Indian servers, which will be physically located in Singapore and London. “The users will be able to find them in our regular list of servers,” it said.
The virtual servers are functionally identical to physical ones – the main difference is that they’re not located in the stated country. “They still provide the same functionality – in this case, getting an Indian IP,” it said.
The users in India who don’t use Indian servers will not notice any changjes. They will still be able to connect to whichever server outside the country they like.
“Meanwhile, Surfshark will continue to closely monitor the government’s attempts to limit internet freedom and encourage discussions intended to persuade the government to hear the arguments of the tech industry,” it said.