Privacy and Security

Are VPNs Legal?

Using VPN is absolutely legal in most of the countries. As a citizen of this modern world, we should have the right to our privacy. No one wants to get intercepted by hackers or the government itself. There is one more fact that everyone should know is that right to privacy is mentioned under UN convention.

In this world full of exceptions there are some countries in which VPN is illegal. Countries such as Egypt, China and Iran block users from accessing any foreign VPN services. But at the same time trying to use VPN is not considered as a criminal act.

There will be a lot of questions running through your mind, don’t worry we will be discussing every country which are restricting VPN services, in any possible way.

When is VPN considered illegal?

There are two types of illegal activities that are performed using a VPN. First, that is completely illegal from every point of view or jurisdiction. Second, which is considered illegal by some countries.

Even we do not encourage illegal activities of the first kind. But, you don’t need to worry if you are bypassing regional blocks using an international VPN,  as no VPN provider will help regional authorities with the logs of work you have done. For example, International VPN providers are not going to help the Chinese government in chasing people who used Google to search something using their VPN.

But, if you commit any illegal activities which has something to do with national or international level breach, and the government or police have enough evidence against you, then you are not in the safe hands. Any VPN provider will have to provide minimal or detailed information either willingly or unwillingly to the government depending on the extent of logs they keep. They can’t risk their company to protect you from doing such criminal activities.

Not every VPN provider who claims that they do not keep any kind of logs can be trusted.

Luckily, you are in the right place. Please read our Log keeping policy for a safer and trusted VPN. Here you can purchase our VPN.

Other VPN related Issues.

Other than the legal aspects there are other points which are worth considering. As we all know most of the school, colleges offices and even parents sometimes block access to certain websites on router or firewall level or with the help of any custom software so that you can concentrate on your studies or on your work if you are an employee. Use of VPN to bypass such blocks are not illegal.

Origin of commercial VPN

A question must have flashed through your mind, why the VPN came into existence? The answer to this question is; the commercial VPN was developed for remote workers to connect to their office network securely over the public network.

We can draw out the following points from the above discussion.

  1. Use of VPN for this purpose is supported by every country, they have no issues with normal secure business going on.
  2. The government can’t block VPN traffic as it is used for a commercial purpose that ultimately contributes to the national economy. But still, as I mentioned before there are few countries who block the connections anyway

Countries where VPNs are blocked or banned

Iraq

There are unofficial reports that say VPN is being blocked or restricted in Iraq. But as per our research Iraq doesn’t  have the required infrastructure to block or detect VPN. It is possible that VPN is being controlled or blocked at the local level.

Iran

Iran has restricted access to some very popular social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and telegram there might be many other small social networking platform blocked by Iran.

There is one more strange policy too, you can use the VPN provided by local provider but not from an international provider.

One unofficial report also says that if you are found using international VPN in Iran you could be imprisoned from 60 days to a year.

Turkey

There is a fun fact about this country, it keeps on blocking the websites or news forums, which speaks against Turkey or anything offendable related to Turkey in any form.

Maybe they don’t want their citizen to know what the world says about the Turkish government.

So far, we never heard about anyone getting caught or imprisoned for using VPN in Turkey.

China

China has implemented a tough firewall to impose censorship on a great level, known as the Great Firewall of China (GFW). It won’t be odd to compare it with the Great Wall of China.

Most of the citizen in China are looking to bypass, or are already bypassing this Firewall with the help of VPN or Proxy. You can’t even access any “VPN providing website”, as they are keen on blocking such websites. China keeps on blacklisting known VPN IPs. Also, they use an advanced technology known as DPI (deep packet inspection) that can detect data packets related to VPN protocols and can block them accordingly. China has also forced Apple to remove VPN apps from the China app store.

But as we all know when there are great locks there are great keys too. Many tools and software are being used in China to bypass GFW as well as DPI.  

Also, there are rumours that China is going to introduce a Social Credit System to fine or punish users who get caught using VPNs with negative ratings. As far as we know, in China there are fair chances that it can get implemented.

For tourist or if you are on a business trip to China, all you need to do is buy a good VPN and configure it on your device before landing in China.

Egypt

The Egyptian government has banned a huge number of websites, and mostly the news websites. They started blocking websites when many websites published that Egypt is related, or is supporting terrorist activities.

Egyptian ISPs are also using DPI technology as used by China to detect and block VPN traffic

So far, we never heard that anyone got caught or imprisoned for using VPN in Egypt. But since Egypt is a very strict nation, it is suggested to be very careful.

Russia

All they are doing is blocking VPN websites on ISP level, they are not only concerned about VPN but they have also blocked news related websites or social forums, which they don’t want their citizens to see

Like China, they have also asked Apple to remove VPN apps from Russian app store. It was done for China but Russian request is yet to be accepted.  

So far, we never heard that anyone got caught or imprisoned for using VPN in Russia

United Arab Emirates

Back in 2016, Saeed Al Hajri (Director of the Cybercrime Division of the Dubai Police) stated that the use of Virtual Private Networks is illegal across the United Arab Emirates. His exact  words were “Tampering with the Internet network is a crime.” He also said that they have started and will continue to monitor all social media channels for any offensive content.

One unofficial reports also say that UAE is using DPI(deep packet inspection). But at the same time access to VPN websites or VPN traffics does not seem to be controlled.

If anyone is caught using VPN, they have to pay a fine up to AED 2 million (around USD 500,000) or may get jailed along with the fine as decided by the authority based on the extent of crime the individual or the group committed.

North Korea

Using a VPN in North Korea is illegal.Also the internet is not made available to everyone in North Korea. The Internet is only available to some selected groups of best students, scientists, government officials,  and sometimes to some senior journalists. It will be a serious issue for these people if they are found misusing the internet with VPN, as they are being strictly monitored by the cyber team.

So, basically they are controlling the access to the Internet and monitoring it continuously.

Oman

The telecommunications law in Oman restricts the practice of any kind of encryption without taking the prior permission from the government.

One unofficial report also says that residents of Oman are only allowed to use local VPN services which are authorised by the government. But another report at the same time says that there are many users in Oman who use International VPNs.

We also came to know that Oman does not have any technology to monitor or track the usage of VPN which is being practised.

Turkmenistan

We all know that Turkmenistan is one of the most restricted and oppressive countries in the world. Like North Korea, the internet is not made available to every citizen. The Internet is only made available to some selected groups of best students, scientists, government officials,  and sometimes to some senior journalists. Not only that, the Internet is very expensive, speed is considerably slow, and the traffic is strictly monitored.

A report says that  If anyone is caught using VPN, has to pay fine or may get jailed along with the fine as decided by the authority.

One more surprising fact about this country is that Turkmenistan has a single ISP(Internet Service Provider) that is closely controlled by the government.

Syria

We all are well educated about the ongoing war condition in Syria. So how could the Internet be safe from it, as expected the remaining internet infrastructures are in the hands of government and are strictly controlled.

If anyone is caught using the internet they will have to face fine, jail or any kind of expected torture. You can only access the Open Internet using illegal satellites or if you have a phone with a neighbouring country sim card.

Vietnam

There is as such no known law existing in Vietnam against VPN, but like other countries it’s name is on the top list for blocking a considerable number of websites. They have also applied certain VPN blocks, but blocks are not that strong, it can be easily bypassed from inside the country.

If you are a visitor to Vietnam, all you need to do is buy a good VPN and configure it on your device before landing in Vietnam.

So far, we never came to know that anyone got caught or jailed for using VPN in Vietnam.

VPNs Legal or illegal?Conclusion

If we ignore war zones and countries like Syria and North Korea, most countries allow the use of VPNs, so you can use it as long as nothing illegal or nothing against law is being practised over the VPN.

Some countries are about to ban VPN, some countries have already banned VPN. On practical basis, only China and Egypt have the real weapon such as DPI (deep packet inspection) and GFW(Great Firewall of China) to act against or control the use of VPN.

 

A Complete gamer and a Tech Geek. Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writing Techie blogs.

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