Using a VPN – Is it Legal or Illegal?
VPNs have changed the way people use the internet nowadays. They have helped everyday users to arm themselves better against hackers who are constantly trying to force their way in and barge into the comfort zone of their systems. In this age of cyber-crimes, not everyone has the necessary knowledge to equip his or herself against the ravenous attacking of hackers. Luckily, though, services like VPNs have aided such users in keeping their identities a secret and protecting the confidentiality and integrity of their data while surfing on the internet.
VPNs connect users to the internet through an encrypted tunnel, which hides the user’s identity from potential trackers and identity thieves looking to cause people all sorts of troubles. They mask the user’s IP, thereby masking his or her true geographical location.
Many VPNs also allow users to choose a server from their list to make it appear so that they are accessing the internet from any location of their choice. In addition to hiding their true location from attackers, this is also one way to access data that is geo-restricted. Websites like Netflix, Pandora, etc. can be accessed in this way.
If VPNs offer so many advantages, why do people still flinch from using them at times? Perhaps it is because they think it is illegal. But is that true? Here’s some information about it:
When is VPN Legal
VPN simply provides a different pathway for a user to connect to a website or web page. There is nothing wrong with a user hiding his true geographical location and masking his IP address while he browses the internet. It provides users with a barrier against threats and attacks to their privacy.
Although it allows users to access content that might be banned in their region, as is the case in countries like China and Iran where heavy restrictions are placed on people’s internet usage, using VPNs to access such areas of the internet is not considered a malpractice. All the VPN providers are running a 100% legitimate service.
When is VPN Illegal
VPN, too, is a coin with two faces. Where it is an advantage to users in protecting their identity from attackers, it serves as a tool for attackers who want to keep their identity a secret and snoop around in unauthorized systems and servers. VPNs are increasingly being used by hackers to mask their identities while they launch attacks of different levels of severity on small and big corporations alike.
It gets difficult for security teams to pinpoint the location of the attacker if he or she uses a VPN. Used in this context, VPN definitely comes out as an illegal service. Countries like China are cutting off VPN providers one after the other in a bid to strip people off this method to get around the restrictions imposed on them, again making VPN usage illegal.
A VPN is a tool devised for the protection of a user. If the user is malicious then he will look for ways to use this service to cause damage to other people while regular users use it to safeguard their systems from attacks. The service of VPN itself is innocent in this matter. It depends on how a user chooses to use the service that leads it to be labelled as legal or illegal.