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India's order to collect VPN user data sparks outcry

Government says it aims to fight cybercrime; critics call directive 'dangerous'

India's internet user base has been growing rapidly, coupled with rising demand for VPN services that promise privacy.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- An Indian government directive to track internet users has met resistance from activists and companies, who say the new rules will violate the digital rights of citizens.

In late April, the government ordered tech companies to maintain detailed logs on virtual private networks -- services that encrypt online traffic. Starting on June 27, VPN and cloud providers will be required to collect and store user data, including names, addresses, contact numbers, email addresses and IP information, along with usage patterns, for up to five years.

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