It might seem like using a VPN is illegal because of what they allow users to do, but in most cases, using VPNs is perfectly fine from a legal perspective. That is not to say that there aren’t illegal applications for the technology, and there are certain countries that restrict the use of VPNs. The question of how legal a VPN service is comes down to how they are being used and where people are connecting from.
Are VPNs legal? Under the scope of the Terms & Conditions of most VPNs, there are fairly clear descriptions of what constitutes legal usage of the VPN service.
It is also more likely for VPNs to share usage data with authorities when users are going against the agreed-to terms.
So, is VPN legal? Yes and No. The VPN itself is legal, so long as you live in a country that hasn’t banned the use of VPNs, but illegal use can quickly lead to complex and expensive problems.
One place you are likely to hear the question, “Are VPNs illegal?” is a country that has placed a ban on VPN use. Surprısıngly, there are several countries that restrict VPNs because the technology goes against their surveillance practices.
The most famous of these country-related blocks can be found in China with the so-called Great Wall of China. China works very hard to make sure people within its borders are closely monitored while online, and they do a good job at restricting VPN use. Other countries where VPNs are illegal are Turkey, Iraq, Belarus, Oman, Russia, and North Korea.
While each country known for restricting VPNs claims different reasons for their anti-privacy laws on internet use, they all have a few things in common. Journalism is highly censored, the governments are usually against ideals such as freedom of speech, and they often do not want certain elements of their populations to gain more control than they can handle.
So, if you ask, “is VPN illegal,” the answer is a definitive yes, if you are speaking of a country that fits this profile.
If you live in a country where the government supports freedom of expression and your privacy concerns, using a VPN is legal. The only time that could change is if you were using the VPN for illicit activities, and if that’s the case you had best read the Terms & Conditions of the VPN service very carefully. If you are using a VPN responsibly and for the purposes that they were created for, namely online anonymity and personal privacy, you needn’t worry about any legal issues coming up from your use of the service.