VPN Articles and News

VPN Service Providers To Leave Canada To Protect User Data

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

As reported by us earlier (https://vpncoupons.com/canadian-vpns-now-need-warn-customers-pirating-content/), Canadian authorities have implemented the Copyright Modernization Act (also known as the C11 law) from 1st January’ 2015 within the country. The law makes it mandatory for providers of internet services to retain logs of their subscribers’ online activities for a period of six months as well as forward all copyright notices to their customers. Failure to comply with the law could prove really expensive for the service providers since the law mandates a fine of up to $10,000 for a single copyright violation.

As we mentioned earlier as well, the new law spells disaster for Canada based VPN companies. The mandatory logging clause is going to make Canadian VPN services unattractive to the customers since many people sign up for VPNs to protect their anonymity and browsing habits from surveillance and cyber threats. The legislation is also going to increase the operational costs for the VPN providers since they would now need to retain logs for a period of six months. While the law is designed to protect ISPs from expensive copyright infringement lawsuits, it puts the onus of finding customers who are pirating content on the VPN companies.

The new legislation is likely to bring sweeping changes in the Canadian VPN industry. Due to the provisions introduced by the law, big VPN providers are likely to shift their operations elsewhere while small providers may have to shut down altogether (due to increased cost of operation). The law would also force VPN companies to disallow P2P sharing and bittorenting activities within their networks. The impact of the law would also be felt by expats and business travelers who rely on Canadian VPN services to access entertainment shows from their home country.

Apart from the above issues, there is another potential fallout of the legislation. Since many VPN companies choose to assign shared IP addresses to subscribers, it is almost impossible to find the real identity of a file sharer. While the law merely says that the provider needs to explain this situation to the company holding the copyright to the shared file, it could lead to legal battles between VPN providers and media companies. It is a foregone conclusion that most VPN companies would try to avoid such legal cases since they do not have the resources or the budget to face big entertainment companies in the court.

VPN companies like BTGuard and TunnelBear that are based in Canada are still analyzing the impact of the new legislation on their operations. BTGuard, one of the premium VPN companies that allows torrenting and promises zero logging, has promised that the new legislation would not affect the logging policy of the company even if it had to shut down its Canadian servers. TunnelBear, another provider known for its no-logging policy, has promised to shift its operations to another country if the company is required to log customer data. One thing is clear, whatever option the VPN providers choose, the losers are going to be Canadian VPN customers.

February 24, 2015

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