ProtonVPN has announced that it has pulled all of its VPN servers from India, citing the government’s impending introduction of strict censorship rules aimed at exposing who is behind VPN accounts. However, Indian customers will still be able to use Indian IP addresses through Singapore-based virtual servers provided by ProtonVPN.
The rules, drawn up by India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in an effort to combat cybercrime, will require VPNs, among other IT service providers, to implement security protocols. know your customer. This includes recording each user’s full name, address, and telephone number, as well as customer activity while using the network.
This goes directly against what VPNs are supposed to do, so it’s no wonder that ProtonVPN, among others, is leaving India. The only way to avoid restrictions is to drop all presence in India, including servers. That said, users can still log in and use the service from India, they simply won’t be able to use the servers based in the country.
However, ProtonVPN seems determined to ensure that its customers can still use the internet anonymously with Indian IP addresses. It will do this by “replacing” its abandoned Indian servers with Indian IP addresses on virtual servers in Singapore using what it calls “intelligent routing”. ProtonVPN users will still be able to spoof Indian IP addresses, they will simply do so through Singapore instead of somewhere on the subcontinent.
ProtonVPN’s decision to drop its Indian servers is the latest in an exodus of VPN providers. ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN, to name three, upped their sticks when the new VPN crackdown was announced in June.