VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK
NEWS : The government issued a stark warning to virtual private network (VPN) service providers to adhere to the cybersecurity rules released by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) or wrap up operations in the country
WHAT IS A VPN
- Any and all devices connected to the internet are a part of a large network of computers, servers and other devices spread across the world.
- To identify each device connected to the internet, service providers globally assign a unique address to each such device called the internet protocol address or IP address.
- It is this IP address that helps websites, law enforcement agencies and even companies track down individual users and their accurate location.
- A virtual private network, when switched on, essentially creates a safe network within the larger global network of the internet and masks the IP address of the user by rerouting the data.
- Acting as a tunnel, a VPN takes data originating from one server and masks it in a different identity before delivering it to the destination server.
- In essence, a VPN creates several proxy identities for your data and delivers it safely without disturbing the content of the data
WHAT WAS CERT-IN DIRECTIVE
- As per the latest directive, Cert-In has asked VPN service providers to maintain for five years or longer details such as the validated names of their customers, the period for which they hired the service, the IP addresses allotted to these users, the email addresses, the IP addresses and the time stamps used at the time of registration of the customers.
- Cert-In also wants VPN service providers to maintain data such as the purpose for which the customers used their services, their validated addresses and contact numbers, and the ownership pattern of the customers.
- One of the main reasons that Cert-In provided for seeking these details is that it will help to effectively trace anti-social elements and cybercriminals indulging in various nefarious activities online.
- These details are necessary to prevent incitement or commission of any “cognisable offence using computer resources or for handling of any cyber incident” which may lead to any disturbance in the “sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order”