Netflix cracks down on proxy and VPN users

Netflix, the video streaming giant, has announced it will be taking measures to try and tackle the issue of people using internet proxies or virtual private networks (VPN) to access content specific to other countries.

It was only nine days ago, at CES, that Netflix brought its internet TV network to more than 130 countries around the world. Due to licensing agreements, the content available on Netflix varies significantly depending which country the viewer is in.

Of course, this creates an issue whenever someone goes travelling; when abroad, the only content which can be viewed is that which is allowed in the country. This can admittedly be quite awkward, but is necessary in order for the streaming giant to avoid any legal issues. What this means is that crossing a border will change which shows and films you can stream through you Netflix account.

However, David Fullagar, Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix, stated in a recent blog post that Netflix “are making progress in licensing content across the world and… have a way to go before [they] can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.”

In order to get around country-specific content, many users utilise a proxy or VPN. As a result of pressure from content providers, Netflix said it would increase its effort to block these workarounds.

This comes as some surprise, and is somewhat hypocritical of the company. Netflix said last year at CES 2015 that it would not block VPN and proxy users. However, it makes sense that Netflix wishes to do its utmost to stop the use of proxies and VPN’s due to the legal ramifications of not protecting copyrightable content.