You use a logless VPN, right? When it comes to VPNs, using a provider that guarantees no tracking and maximum privacy is vital.
VPN services like NordVPN pride themselves on their no-log status, reminding us that they will protect your privacy and refuse to comply with law enforcement data requests.
That was, until now. A subtle change to the language in a NordVPN blog post reveals that it now works with law enforcement, so long as the request received comes through the proper channels and is in itself a lawful request for data.
So, what gives? Can you still trust NordVPN?
NordVPN Reveals Law Enforcement Cooperation
NordVPN has quietly updated a 2017 blog post detailing its stance on data requests from law enforcement.
The change to the blog text is small but important.
Previously, the post read:
NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama and will not comply with requests from foreign governments and law enforcement agencies
The updated version now reads:
NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama and will only comply with requests from foreign governments and law enforcement agencies if these requests are delivered according to laws and regulations
As you can see, a small change that drastically alters NordVPN’s relationship with its users and law enforcement. Another change reveals that NordVPN will now work with law enforcement and other authorities if the company receives a legitimate request through the proper channels.
We are 100% committed to our zero-logs policy – to ensure users’ ultimate privacy and security, we never log their activity unless ordered by a court in an appropriate, legal way
Again, this is a departure from NordVPN’s previous take on the matter, never revealing user data or engaging with law enforcement requests. As NordVPN is based in Panama, it long positioned itself as a bastion of privacy, dedicated to protecting its users from intrusive data collection.
Now, it seems that something or someone has forced NordVPN’s hand, and the company must make at least some effort to comply with lawful data requests.
At the time of writing, the blog post states that NordVPN has not received any National Security letters, gag orders, or warrants from government organizations. So, rest easy for now.
What Should NordVPN Users Do? Should You Switch VPN Provider?
The news that NordVPN will begin working with law enforcement when it receives a lawful data request will absolutely come as a shock. Despite the size of NordVPN, its advertising campaigns, and its global coverage, it has remained a popular choice for VPN users looking for privacy.
There is little doubt that some users will jump ship to other VPN services in the wake of this revelation. But, before you begin researching a new VPN service, you should note that the vast majority of VPN providers include similar data collection caveats in their terms and conditions.
Is it right? Probably not. You want your VPN service to protect your data at all costs, even if the authorities come knocking. But the fact of the matter is that many VPN providers must offer some provision for law enforcement data collection, whether we like it or not.
Are There Any Logless VPNs?
It’s a difficult time in the world of VPNs. If it isn’t NordVPN changing its service terms to reveal law enforcement collaboration, it’s a multinational with a shady past buying other popular privacy-focused VPN providers.
So, are there any truly logless VPNs out there?
They are few and far between, but TorGuard and ProtonVPN remain dedicated to protecting users at all costs. Of course, you should double-check their user agreement and service information before signing up, but both are well known for their no-log VPN policies.
All in all, NordVPN switching up a blog post on data collection isn’t the end of the world. For most users, privacy is important, but global coverage of servers and access to geo-locked content is of equal concern. So, if NordVPN’s revelation bothers you, by all means, switch to one of the aforementioned no-log services.
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About The Author
Gavin Phillips (1017 Articles Published)
Gavin is the Junior Editor for Technology Explained, a regular contributor to the Really Useful Podcast, and a frequent product reviewer. He has a degree in Contemporary Writing pillaged from the hills of Devon, and more than a decade of professional writing experience. He enjoys copious amounts of tea, board games, and football.