VPNs are popular with those who travel a lot, use the Internet a lot or those who are trying to improve online protection and privacy.
But this technology remains controversial despite the fact that it has been around for years. Below we will see what a VPN is and we will answer the question, "is it illegal?".
What is VPN?
A VPN, which means Virtual Private Network, is software that hides your computer's IP address and transmits your data over an encrypted channel.
The result is that VPN users are much more secure in cases of breaches due to the encryption techniques used. They are also difficult to detect as their computer address is not exposed.
So a VPN can be very useful if you are trying to unblock specific sites and overcome the geographical limitations of certain services. For example, Netflix has different content libraries depending on the country in which a user is located. However, if this user uses a VPN connection, they can hide their true location and therefore have access to any Netflix library they choose.
VPN: legal or illegal?
For the most part, using a VPN is legal. However, it is important to note that the use of VPNs for illegal activities is prohibited. The illegal activity depends on the country in which you are located. For example, watching porn or accessing gay sites is illegal in some Middle Eastern countries. But it is legal in many western countries.
Netflix, for example, has licenses in certain countries for specific content. When you access Netflix content other than where you live, you are breaking the law.
So why use a VPN?
Using a VPN for other purposes can be helpful in trying to stay safe online. By hiding your identity and encrypting your data, you make the life of the hacker very difficult in case of a hack. Cybercriminals not only have difficulty accessing your data, but if they do, they can not read it as they will not have an encryption key.
In which countries are VPNs illegal?
As mentioned, VPNs may be legal, but using them for illegal activity is a criminal offense. However, there are some countries where the use of VPN is completely illegal. The following is a short list.
Belarus - Those who use VPN services in Belarus violate the law.
China - China likes to monitor its citizens' internet usage, and VPN usage is banned or should be licensed by the government.
Iran - Any VPN services in Iran must be licensed by the government.
Iraq - VPN services are prohibited
Oman - If people who use VPN are found they face a fine of 1000+ dollars.
Russia - Not all VPN providers in Russia are approved. All services that have been approved block specific content and sites.
Turkey Authorities have begun to block the use of VPNs.
Uganda ISPs in Uganda have recently blocked all VPN services, although there is no law stating that they are illegal.
UAE - The use of VPNs is illegal.
Knowing how, where and why you can use a VPN is the key to keeping up with the law. Knowing where you can use it legally and for what content is crucial if you do not want to have any legal problems - especially in a foreign country.