TunnelBear and McAfee VPN stop working in India
McAfee Safe Connect VPN and TunnelBear VPN, which is also owned by the McAfee cybersecurity company, have announced that they are stopping providing their VPN services in India due to new local cybersecurity regulations.
On June 27th, 2022 the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has passed new cybersecurity regulation which forces VPN service providers to log and store user data for 5 years. The information that would fall under this legislation includes the user’s real and VPN-assigned IP addresses, destinations on the Internet, online activities, as well as personal information, such as names, emails, phone numbers, and other contact details.
In order to protect their users, McAfee Safe Connect VPN and McAffee-owned TunnelBear announced on the 26th of September that they will remove all of their VPN servers from Indian and stop providing VPN services inside the country.
This means that from now McAfee VPN and TunnelBear users:
- will not be able to use VPN services while physically located in India;
- will not be able to access an Indian server from any other location outside of India.
The new regulations will affect the following services:
- McAfee Security for Android and iOS
- McAfee Safe Connect for Windows, Android, and iOS
- McAfee VPN in McAfee LiveSafe and McAfee Total Protection
- and TunnelBear VPN.
The company states that these measures are taken in order to protect their user’s online privacy. However, the company did not clarify how this new policy will affect their existing Indian users, and whether the company will make any future attempts to return to the Indian market.
McAfee and TunnelBear are not the first VPN providers to respond to new CERT-In cybersecurity regulations. Earlier this year the issue was addressed by ExpressVPN, and soon followed by NordVPN, Surfshark, PureVPN, and a few other top-tier VPN providers.
However, all of the other VPN providers have simply removed their India-based VPN servers in order to bypass the new legislation, while still providing VPN services both to the people in India and people outside of the country looking to get an Indian IP address through the means of virtual servers that do not fall under data-retention laws.