A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that protects a user’s online privacy from government surveillance and gives unrestricted access to the web. Moreover, using a VPN like FastestVPN, also enables users to access various geo-restricted sites like Netflix. But, is it legal to use a VPN? Here is everything that you should know about the legality of a VPN.
The lawfulness of a VPN varies country to country, it means that each country has its set of policies related to the VPN usage. Countries that run on authority, they strictly ban VPNs while many democratic countries allow it.
- 1 Why VPNS Are Not Allowed In Some Countries?
- 2 Are There Any Illegal Activities Associated With VPNs?
Why VPNS Are Not Allowed In Some Countries?
In most countries of the world, VPNs are accepted and completely legal to use. However, there are a few countries that discourage VPN usage because their governments simply don’t want citizens to access censored content.
Also, governments that claim VPNs illegal, closely monitor online activities of public. VPN protects online browsing by shielding the IP address therefore, officials cannot access the user’s online activities. Hence, governments proceed declare the use of VPNs illegal.
Countries Where VPNs Are Illegal
VPNs are legal in USA, Canada and the UK. However, some countries allow VPNs only if they fulfil government requirements that ultimately hurt user privacy by allowing government to monitor user’s activities. Below are the top anti-VPN countries that will lead you to some serious fines if you get caught using a VPN:
Being the world’s top internet censorship leader, China comes first in the list. VPNs are strictly not allowed in China. Only VPNs with government license can be used. It means that if a VPN company wants to operate in China, it must meet the Chinese government policies.
In case, if a citizen gets caught accessing a channel illegally or privately, then he will be charged a fine of 15,000 yuan (Almost $2200).
Iran is also included in the list of countries that hates user privacy, and strictly bans the use of VPN. Iran blocks a number of international websites and abolishes the western influence on its soil. VPNs are completely illegal in Iran, only government-accepted VPNs are legal. VPNs that are legal in Iran are of no use because such VPNs keep government censorships and provide user data to government when needed. Using an illegal VPN in Iran might get you imprisoned for up to a year.
The Russian government is also exercising strict censorship laws, and that’s the reason VPNs are banned in Russia. Only VPN providers that agree to log users’ data may operate in Russia. In case, if the user or VPN provider is found guilty then they must pay a fine. For illegal VPN provider: 700,000 RUB (Almost $12,000), and 300,000 RUB (Almost $5,100) for user.
Iraq also doesn’t seem to encourage VPNs in fact, previously, Iraq almost banned every social media site including Facebook, YouTube, and other encrypted messaging apps. Later on, the ban was only imposed for the sensitive regions.
Oman also actively bans VPN and censors media. Oman government doesn’t encourage internet freedom and VPNs are not allowed for individuals. However, institutes and organizations may use VPNs that are approved by Oman government. In case, if any individual found using an illegal VPN then he has to pay a fine of 500 Omani Rial (Almost $1,300) and if any organization is found guilty then it has to pay 1000 Omani Rial (Almost $2,600).
Turkey is also very conscious when it comes to censorship and doesn’t seem to be friendly with international news and content. VPN usage is also prohibited in Turkey. But, a few VPNs can still break Turkey’s block.
VPNs are strictly forbidden in the Egypt, and just like all the mentioned countries, Egypt also doesn’t like the internet freedom and a number of news and entertainment sites are already blocked there.
North Korea is not a good believer of internet freedom, and rarely people get access to worldwide internet in the country. However, North Koreans mostly use Kwangmyong which is a national intranet with limited access. 3G network is allowed for the foreign visitors to access internet but VPNs are prohibited.
Are There Any Illegal Activities Associated With VPNs?
VPNs are banned in several countries, but there are certain online activities that are entirely unlawful. No matter you are doing it with or without a VPN, certain activities will remain illegal. Below is the list of those illegal online activities:
Hacking refers to take control on someone else’s data, computer or network. It is illegal to steal some one’s data with or without a vpn.
Harassing or stalking someone is also an illegal online activity.
Accessing Dark Web for Illegal Stuff
Performing illegal activities on the Dark Web is legally wrong. Dark Web is the part of internet that is harbors in various illegal activities like drugs selling, and more.
While not illegal in essence, it is one of top illicit online activities for one reason. In Torrenting, internet users frequently, download content that is protected by copyrights. The use of such copyrighted content without permission is a crime. The copyrighted content may include, songs, music, games and etc.
Will It Cost a Penalty on Using a VPN?
If you use a VPN in a country where it is prohibited, then yes. However, in USA and countries where VPN is allowed, you will not be fined. Make sure to not get involved in any illegal activity using a VPN, otherwise, you might face some serious consequences.
VPN is a Tool for Privacy
A VPN can be used for so many good things like maintaining privacy on the internet, accessing content from anywhere, or use public Wi-Fi.
You cannot use FastestVPN in a country where VPNs are not allowed. In case, if you are traveling to any country, make sure to read its law regarding vpn before using it.