TechSpot

45,000 people sign open letter asking Netflix to end its VPN ban

By midian182
May 12, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. It was early this year when Netflix really starting cracking down on users attempting to circumvent its geoblocking technology. The streaming site updated its proxy detection techniques so members could no longer use VPNs to access content not available in their country.

    In response to Netflix’s actions, Open Media, a Canadian internet advocacy group, has published an open letter addressed to company CEO Reed Hastings asking the firm to stop blocking VPNs.

    So far, nearly 45,000 people have signed Open Media’s online petition, ’My Netflix, My Privacy,’ which calls for Netflix to “stand up to big media bullies and not block pro-privacy VPN technology.”

    “Watching quality content, and knowing that creators are being compensated in the process is great. But we also love our privacy. And lately, as your subscribers, you just haven’t been treating us well,” writes Laura Tribe, Digital Rights Specialist for Open Media. “[Blocking VPN connections] is a huge problem for our privacy ­conscious supporters, who use VPNs as an essential, user-friendly tool to protect their privacy in a post-Snowden world.”

    While Open Media accepts that Netflix must adhere to its licensing agreements with the content owners, it believes that there are better ways of enforcing geographic restrictions than blocking VPN users.

    “VPNs are one of the best and most accessible tools that Internet users have to protect our privacy. Whether it's from malicious criminal activities, government surveillance and censorship, or simply connecting to a weakly-secured hotel wi-fi system, our personal and private digital information is constantly being put at risk and made vulnerable online.”

    Tribe also takes issue with comments Hastings made at a recent Netflix earnings call, where he called VPN users “a very small but vocal minority” who were “really inconsequential to us.”

    “[...] we’re not small, and we’re not insignificant – but you did get one thing right: we are vocal. And we think it’s important that our voices be heard. So far nearly 45,000 people have joined our campaign asking you to not block pro-privacy VPN technology,” she said.

    Open Media invited the CEO to discuss alternative options to its current geoblocking methods. Whether Hastings agrees, and if anything comes of it, remains to be seen.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +523

    Either Netflix isn't terribly good at blocking VPNs or the one I'm using is too good for them to block because I use one and I live in Canada and watch US Netflix all the time with my VPN service. I still went over to Open Media's site and signed the petition.
     
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,559   +598

    Heh...Netflix has 30 million subscribers. 45,000 subscribers is lint in Netflix's pocket. This will go nowhere.
     
    Thrackerzod likes this.
  4. AccordXTC

    AccordXTC TS Rookie Posts: 19   +6

    I'm more shocked people even care about Netflix any more since Kodi has become so popular with streaming WAY more content and no monthly fee. I remember doing Netflix 3 years ago with a VPN to get additional Netflix regions.
     
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    It's not up to netflix, it's up to the the people who supply content to netflix. This isn't something they want to do
     
    Raoul Duke, ikesmasher and wiyosaya like this.
  6. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,624   +377

    Yes but 45,000 people have friends. It's something they should carefully consider when they reply. You can do pretty bad damage to your reputation on the way you treat your paying customers.
     
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,043   +274

    Using the open source media player Kodi formerly known as XMBC? How?

    Yeah, I get VPN technology and that there are a lot of questionable sources out there for all kinds of video, but I don't mind paying under $10/mo for way more stuff than I could ever watch knowing that at least part of that $$ goes to support the content and a truly professional solution. The questionable sources often take a lot of effort to set up.

    I run MediaPortal, and they have a plug-in that allows me to go to many, many, many free sources of quality video around the world such as the CBC. While there are many I am interested in, even doing that, for me, is far more than I could ever reasonably watch.
     
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  8. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,624   +377

    Interesting thanks for raising that... I've used MP in the past for OTA TV but hadn't looked into their streaming.
     
  9. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    "But we also love our privacy. And lately, as your subscribers, you just haven’t been treating us well,” writes Laura Tribe, Digital Rights Specialist for Open Media. “[Blocking VPN connections] is a huge problem for our privacy ­conscious supporters, who use VPNs as an essential, user-friendly tool to protect their privacy in a post-Snowden world.”
    is it the state of the world today, that I think this is a 100% bogus claim, that there is a zero privacy issue for these folks except to the extent it allows them to violate the terms of service and access other countries content. As mentioned Netflix would love to show you all they can, it's the providers, not Netflix.
    Is $7.99/mo (Canada) too big a burden to bear for what they provide? My way or the highway Netflix, I want more, more, more....even though it isn't your fault.
     
  10. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    I don't stream, I still buy my own media. I have a large collection of DVDs and BluRays. Exclusive content I don't care about otherwise. I wait till it comes to media or I just don't bother wasting the time to watch it. It's that simple.
     
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Yeah, me too.
     
  12. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Guru Posts: 511   +46

    You know exactly how :D . I pay for netflix but also use Kodi connected to my nas, jam packed with terabytes of films and tv shows which I "acquired" (legally/illegally who knows :p)
     
  13. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Booster Posts: 242   +44

    "Whether Hastings agrees"

    yeah, good luck with that..
     

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...