Netflix denies VPN crackdown

Netflix has hit back at reports claiming it is actively stepping up its efforts to block VPN access to streaming libraries in other countries.

Reports over the weekend highlighted how some users could no longer use their existing virtual private networks in order to skirt geographical restrictions.

However, Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt says the firm’s policy remains unchanged and that some VPN services will still enable access.
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Hunt says the company has always routinely swept for VPN services, which allow users to convince Netflix their internet connection is originating from another country, but isn’t stepping up its efforts to crackdown.

Speaking at CES, he said: “The claims that we have changed our policy on VPN are false.

“People who are using a VPN to access our service from outside of the area will find that it still works exactly as it has always done.”

Following the initial reports, many had speculated Netflix had been blocking VPN access to appease studios upset by the breach of licensing agreements. Hunt confirmed this, but denied an extra effort was being made.

He added: “The reality is we blacklist known VPNs in accordance with our content contracts – Foxtel, for example, owns House of Cards in Australia so they kind of like us to block them. But we are not changing our policy. It remains the same as it ever was.”

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A Netflix spokesperson also told the BBC: “Our terms of service state that you are not allowed to virtually cross borders because of content licensing systems.”

Has your desire to access a different Netflix content library run aground recently? Have you found another workaround? Share your experiences below.

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