India: A New Front in the War Against Obfuscation

February 19, 2020

DarkCyber noted “Indian Police Open Case against Hundreds in Kashmir for Using VPN.” VPNs are perceived as a secure way to access certain Internet content. VPNs sit in the middle, and many vendors insist that their approach deletes logs of user activity. Be that as it may, under specific condition, the VPN transfer point can be monitored. For some enforcement agencies, getting customer data and other information is a hassle.

A short cut is sometimes discussed. India may have found a shortcut appropriate for its needs in contentious Kashmir. The write up reports:

Local authorities in India-controlled Kashmir have opened a case against hundreds of people who used virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent a social media ban in the disputed Himalayan region in a move that has been denounced by human rights and privacy activists.

Arresting VPN users complements other tools in the Indian government’s kit; for example, blocking Internet service and capping access speeds.

DarkCyber believes that other governments may examine India’s approach. If these countries’ assessment is positive, the “Indian method” may be used by other countries struggling to deal with online information and services.

The flow of digital content often erodes existing processes. Bits, like some rivers, become more tractable when blocked by a dam in order to reduce the destructive power of floods. India’s action block data streams in an effort to prevent a torrent of bits that will erode institutions and other artifacts of a social construct.

Stephen E Arnold, February 19, 2020


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