Netflix to Block VPN Users Overseas

Movie studios as well as rights holders might have been given their Christmas wish as reports say that Netflix has started to block users that attempt to skirt geoblocks on its service in the U.S. by using VPN’s.

This news comes following the confirmation of a major group in the industry that represents distributors and rights holders that its group members were lobbying the video streaming company to block the U.S. version of the service for users living outside the region.

Currently Netflix is available in close to 50 countries, with the content varying by the location, according to arrangements for local licensing.

However, in areas where the service has yet to become available, including in Australia, residents are able to access the version from the U.S. by using a VPN or a similar tool that masks their IP.

In just Australia, up to 200,000 households are accessing the U.S. version of Netflix according to company figures.

Those users will likely be blocked soon from using Netflix according to the latest reports.

One online industry site reported that Netflix has started forcing Google DNS lookup on its app for Android, meaning the app bypasses and masking tools the user has set up.

That problem has been identified by services that offer VPN such as Unblockus, TorGuard and UnoDNS.

Despite the reports that Netflix service is being locked down, the company has denied that there have been new developments.

During a recent Australia visit prior to the launch of the company in that area, Cliff Edwards the Netflix Corporate Communications Director outlined the policy in the company regarding use of VPNs.

However, even after repeated questions, Edwards would not answer as to whether the company would start blocking VPN users in Australia from accessing Netflix from the U.S. after the local Australian launch has been made.

Edwards said that in Netflix policies it is very specific that VPNs are a violation of its terms of service.

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