Is it Legal to Use a VPN in Australia?

VPN Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Legal to Use a VPN in China?
Yes While Qatar generally blocks obscene content or content it deems critical of Islam, innocent sites have also been blocked without explanation. So…is it legal to use a VPN in China? Everything is very easy to install and setup. Yes There is no report of the government trying to censor the Internet, and the use of VPNs is still perfectly legal in Dominica. Yes Madagascar has very low internet penetration, and despite occasional censorship of other forms of media the internet has been relatively free. HBO Go is going to untether itself from cable in , offering an Over The Top service which means you can just log in and watch almost any device. Child pornography Email and account hacking Spreading viruses Spamming via email or other ways Fraud, theft, scamming Being unidentifiable online has certain benefits such as being protected from hackers.

What Does a VPN Do?

Are VPNs Legal In Your Country?

Below, we give a short summary of what the law stipulates. Specifically, the majority of the news stories related to closing VPNs are based on a document published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on January 22, , in which it announced a month campaign to clean up and regulate the Internet access services market, in which VPNs were included you can find an English translation here. This document stated that the campaign would end on March 31, For a more detailed analysis of the implications of this cybersecurity law, you can read this report published by KPMG Advisory.

To get a better idea of what this new regulation has meant, below I detail some of the actions that have been taken based on the application of this new law. This list could go on, but in general, these have been the most relevant actions affecting personal Internet use in China. I recommend reading this article for a more detailed analysis. This is a difficult question to answer, and I personally doubt that they would, but anything can happen in China.

The first reason is technical. The second reason is purely economic. Blocking VPN use would imply a very significant economic impact, as numerous companies with international interests and foreign investors depend on VPNs to communicate with their clients, employees or suppliers. In addition, VPNs are an essential element for many companies in ensuring the security of their internal networks and communications between the company in China and the rest of the world. However, is it illegal to use a VPN in China?

However, if you use it to download content protected by copyright, this is clearly an illegal act. The same thing has already happened in the past during important political and social events the Olympic Games, party congresses, etc. Despite the waves made in the international media by the supposed threat of blocking VPN use this time, March has come and gone and VPNs continue to work. Sborto Zhou is a scientist working in Beijing that already visited half Asia and only thinks about his next trip.

He's also the editor of the Spanish version of Sapore di Cina. The open secret among Canadian Netflix subscribers is that the grass really is greener on the other side of the border. In January both U. Not to mention a whole bunch of Woody Allen movies. The most popular method is DNS masking to hide your location.

Your computer also has an IP address, and the DNS server passes that information on to the end site so it can tell where you are from. This locates you in physical, and Internet space. Netflix also uses your IP address to define its library of shows based on geography. This process masks your location: Suddenly you appear to be in Youngstown, Ohio, instead of an apartment building on Yonge Street in Toronto.

That grants you to access that sweet American pie, er, movies and TV shows not available in your region. Nicholas Lin, founder of UnoTelly, has a working assumption that a third of Canadian Netflix subscribers access the U. Canada is just in its top five.

A Virtual Private Network is just a set of private, encrypted connections hosted on a larger network usually the Internet. Think of it like a tunnel that takes you to a different place on the web. Where you come out on the other side will be a mystery to them.

On the other hand, you often lose some of your bandwidth, so your streaming speed can suffer. You pay these guys, and they move your surfing around to different locations. You can set up a VPN at your router, so all your connected devices are pushed through VPN, or you can set up connections from individual machines.

There are online services and content offered inside Canada that are geoblocked elsewhere, Downton Abbey for instance is available in Netflix Canada but not in the U. A fun or depressing game you can play on sites like Moreflicks. There are 53 million Netflix users worldwide and there are slightly different versions of the Netflix library in every nation: Not to mention 43 countries in Latin and South America.

Netflix , and later this month Disney will be showing Aladdin. Why all this variation? Technology writer and columnist Ivor Tossell explained it well the other day:. Netflix catalogues are different in different countries because licensing deals are split between different countries. It's a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and a computer server overseas. To the government censors in China, they can only see that you are connected the VPN server, they can't tell what websites you are visiting or what files you are downloading unless they can crack the encryption.

Think of this real world example. Lets say you want to buy a product that is not available in China, so you ask your friend overseas to buy it on your behalf and send it to you. In the case of a VPN you want to access a website or server that is blocked in China so you ask the VPN to connect to the server on your behalf and send the information to you.

No, not at all. Although it is illegal to operate un-registered VPN business in China, there is no law against individuals using an overseas-based VPN. What you do after you connect to the VPN is another matter. If you are using a VPN to spread political messages or cause trouble for the government, then you may be breaking other laws.

But connecting to a VPN, in and of itself, is not illegal. If you are just using a VPN to watch YouTube or Netflix, or browse Facebook, then you have nothing to worry about, you are not doing anything illegal.

As for the legality of overseas-based VPNs offering their services to Chinese customers, that is more of a gray area. Technically, these companies cannot legally sell their services in China.

But then again, they do not have operations, servers, or staff in China. Therefore, they are under no obligation to comply with Chinese laws. The Chinese government can try stop people from buying and using these services, but that's about all they can do.

As of now, it's still possible to buy most of these services with Alipay, so they don't seem to be trying too hard to stop it. In Janurary, the government has announced a crackdown against Chinese Telecom companies offering unlicensed VPN services.

It has nothing to do with using a personal VPN service that operates outside of China, which is still not illegal. This announcement has been widely misinterpreted by the mainstream media and there are many misleading headlines declaring that VPNs are now illegal in China.

China could very easily completely block all VPN traffic if they wanted to. The level of tolerance for VPNs from the government, at any given time, is a balance between controlling the flow of information and being friendly to foreign investors and companies.

On one hand, the government does not want their own citizens to have free access to the internet for obvious reasons that I won't go into here. On the other hand, they must allow a certain amount of VPN traffic to allow foreign invested business and multi-national companies to access their corporate networks. Besides commercial VPN services, some companies use their own VPNs to securely connect the networks of their offices around the world. A certain amount of commercial VPN traffic is allowed as well, because the government knows that many foreign visitors and investors need to access blocked websites and blocking VPNs completely would be very bad for the economy and foreign investment.

During sensitive political meetings or other sensitive times, VPNs will be partially blocked or speed-throttled, but they will never be completely blocked.

You will notice that during these times of political meetings or events that the companies which have Chinese language websites and market their products to Chinese people will be hit the hardest by the blocking.

What is Geo-Blocking?

When used for legal purposes, VPNs are not considered illegal in most countries and anyone can go ahead and start using a VPN service. The act of surfing through another IP is legal, and is something even the biggest companies in the world do all the time. Certain VPN providers came up with technology to circumvent geo-blocking, but so far it’s still an issue. Conclusion. Ultimately, a VPN is a tool just like any other. You can do both legal and illegal things while using them. Similarly, you can do legal and illegal things with a . One of the most common questions I receive about VPNs (or “Virtual Private Network”) is this: Is it legal to use a VPN in China? Since China censors the internet using the “Great Firewall of China” to keep people inside the country from accessing different websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Gmail, etc., it’s no wonder that some of the best VPNs are .