Are Private Proxies Legal in the US?

Last Updated: October 23, 2021

Jason

Jason

Are private proxies legal in the United States?
Are Private Proxies Legal in the US?
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Private proxies have revolutionized the private browser experience by taking it to a whole new level.

Now, you can securely browse and access sites without revealing your IP.

Private proxies allow you to filter web access that protects your IP.

This Is great because you can target sites from locations where those sites are inaccessible.

Even if you get banned from certain sites, private proxies help you access them flawlessly.

They are like the coolest tools you can use for privately browsing the web. However, there are many concerns because of the recent court rulings in California.

One of many questions people are asking is: Are private proxies legal in the United States?

In this article, we address this question and understand its variations to help you make a calculated decision.

Let’s get started…

Yes, Private Proxies are Legal in the USA

Proxies aren’t an illegal tool.

You can use them like any other tool available in the market.

But the reason this discussion is surfacing is that sometimes people use proxies to commit unlawful activities.

Hence, it’s critical to understand what qualifies as an unlawful act.

The History of Proxy Laws in the USA

Laws

In 1986, The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was introduced.

This act concerned the federal jurisdiction with computer-related crimes.

Previously, the Federal enforces worked within their sphere.

They never got involved in cases that didn’t hamper national interests or caused substantial damage across state lines.

This means they didn’t care about cases that fell outside their sphere. Even if you’d commit a computer-related crime, they would ignore you.

But this changed when a ruling came from Northern California.

It held that if someone is circumventing a blocked place by a website to forbid a particular user entry, then it violates the CFAA.

Now, where this gets tricky is private proxies more or less implement the same uses. Hence, whether you intend to circumvent a block, it’s a common consequence.

In simple words, when you are accessing a site from where you got banned using proxies, you’re making up a violation of the CFAA.

This is the reason people are going crazy.

But there’s no need to worry because all you need to understand is scenarios where you may cause the violation.

Hence, let’s discuss some situations where you mayn’t use a private proxy.

When Is Using a Proxy Considered Illegal?

Spamming & Bypassing IP Bans 

Spamming

Accessing a site after getting banned from it is simple. This Is because blocks get executed by IP address or range. Hence, you don’t need to use a private proxy to achieve this.

You can reset your router and understand the terms of service of the sites you’re engaging with. Every site has a distinct policy and restricts certain traffic they think is harmful to their business. Hence, it’s better to understand what kind of access they allow.

If you violate their terms, they’ll definitely ban you, but if you respect their restrictions, then you’re good to go even if you’re accessing the site with a proxy.

Most sites intend blocks to avoid abuse of their resources. These sites earn from the traffic, and limiting that traffic isn’t helpful to their pockets.

Hence, understand the policies before violating any unknown parameters. But if the ruling from California stays, this thing will grow, eventually.

Circumventing International Copyright laws

Copyright laws

In this whole scenario of using proxies, the international copyright laws have a major place.

This Is because the media is doing its part to highlight this issue.

Copyright laws of one country for unlicensed media don’t apply to other countries, and that’s a grey area for many people.

Now, when you bring proxies into the picture, the matter gets complicated. 3

Are Private Proxies Legal in the US?

Accessing a piece of content that’s restricted in your country by using a proxy physically in another country heats the confusion.

And there’s a risk for the proxy owners to get suspended.

But it’s critical to understand that using proxies either way isn’t illegal.

The only thing you need to look out for is the terms and policies of the proxy service you’re going to use.

How to Stay Legal with Your Proxies

Don’t Use a Blackhat Proxy Service

Blackhat Proxy

Now that you know you can use a proxy service, you must also understand the goals of your private proxy company.

This Is because many services have expressly black-hat ideas and are specially designed for people who circumvent IP trackers.

But you can always use a white-hat proxy service. These services follow all the restrictions of a region. And the icing on the cake is that they’ll guide you to make the correct decision, not violating any law.

Always Read the Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions

This is literally the best way to understand the functions of a proxy service.

Terms and conditions are principles a company believes in and makes sure every customer follows them.

Hence, they voluntarily ask you to read the terms and conditions.

And these conditions are unique for every company and explain what they consider as restricted content.

There’s a confusion on whether using concealed IP is violating policy.

That’s why some are allowing the use of proxy and others are banning them entirely.

And then there’s another scenario where a user gets allowed to access a website using a proxy but not add their contribution.

This helps companies to allow users access the content while still holding them accountable, making more and more proxy services to adapt this model.

Use General Common Sense

Common Sense

Finally, your best friend is your common sense. Most people get excited and do everything in their power to circumvent bans and end up breaking the law.

Remember, if you got banned from a website, then you need to respect it. You got banned because you violated the terms of the website.

You can avoid getting in trouble and the consequences of this ruling by making sure your actions are within the restrictions.

Conclusion

There you have it. Now, you know private proxies are legal in the US. But this doesn’t mean you can abuse them. Keeping yourself educated about the restrictions and terms of the websites you’re accessing is the best way to avoid trouble.

Written by Jason

Hi! I’m the editor at EarthWeb. I have a deep interest in technology and business. I also enjoy testing products out. Contact me to be featured!