Netflix exempts US Military bases from Geoblocking, but servicemembers worry that this isn't enough


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Earlier this month it was reported that Netflix was taking steps to update its proxy detection techniques in an effort to stop users from accessing content only available outside their own country. The company wants to make sure that anyone found using a VPN willl be directed to their regional site.

The announcement hasn’t gone down well with US citizens who work abroad, especially military personnel stationed overseas. In response, Netflix says that military bases will be able to access its library of US content.

“Netflix always exempts U.S. military bases around the world,” said Anne Marie Squeo, a spokeswoman for Netflix. “They will still be able to access the U.S. catalog.”

For most overseas servicemembers, however, Netflix's gesture isn’t enough, as many of them live off base and rely on VPNs to access the site’s US content.

Stars and Stripes reports that Petty Officer 2nd Class Shaundell Wright, a quartermaster with Yokosuka Navy Base’s Port Operations Dispatch, said being stationed overseas can be a culturally disorientating experience. The ability to access US media on Netflix allows her and her friends to feel closer to home, she said.

“For me Netflix is a way of being home. It boosts your morale by letting you watch the things you would be able to see at home,” Wright said. “We are already in a foreign country and everything is so different. So, to be able to watch Netflix feels good.”

Before Netflix’s announced crackdown on VPNs, the company revealed that it had expanded operations to 130 additional countries. Unfortunately, the content offered by Netflix in these areas is usually limited. The US version of the site has three times as many movies and TV shows as the Australian one, for example.

A Navy Counselor in Bahrain expressed his views on the geoblocking actions: “My VPN hasn’t been blocked. But if it does, I will be pi**ed. Netflix Bahrain is trash."

Netflix began its assault on VPNs by blocking some members of Australia’s uFlix service last week. The Melbourne-based company said it quickly discovered a workaround to the block and was putting additional measures in place before releasing it.

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TS Evangelist
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Geo-blocking is stupid idea to begin with. Heck, aren't we trying to come together in the world!? Apparently not.
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TS Evangelist
That's gonna be horrendously complex. Why do they limit it anyway? Full speed ahead, darth.
Probably because they pay the owners of the content based on who's allowed to watch it. If Netflix is paying you for your show to allow everyone in Canada to watch it and it's available from the US, you'd be mad.

Netflix should allow a customer to chose a region and pay for that region only. Changing regions would be restricted until the next billing cycle. That way people could pay for more than one, and Netflix could get TWO subscriptions from some people.

I think it's frustrating... I travel to Canada and my kid gets new shows showing up on Netflix. But I also see shows I wish were on the US netflix - like Homeland. It's a weird process.


TS Evangelist
Geo-blocking is stupid idea to begin with. Heck, aren't we trying to come together in the world!? Apparently not.
We are talking about content owners here, they are only for increasing their profits and keeping control of everything they can.
Watched everything interesting they have to offer here already. Stopped using netflix year ago and only way for them to get me back is to offer same shows as you get in the US. Or drop the price dramatically, not paying the same as you for less, though if you count in currency exchange rate it's near 15$ a month here, so I would be paying more for less.


TS Evangelist
I know this blocking stuff is for licensing, or some crap... but in the grand scheme of things, they are blocking people from using buying a product/service. Seems rather silly if you ask me.


TS Evangelist
Geo-blocking is stupid idea to begin with. Heck, aren't we trying to come together in the world!? Apparently not.
The average person wants it to happen but money is going to get in the way. The true drawback of a capitalist society is that innovation depends completely on competition. Once you remove that or separate the market into fragments, there's no incentive to improve upon what already exists. I'd say removing regional restrictions would almost be equal to moving to a global economy in that profits can dramatically increase but competition also increases.


TS Evangelist
Geo-blocking is stupid idea to begin with. Heck, aren't we trying to come together in the world!? Apparently not.
It's not a question of trying to unite people which could be construed as noble. Netflix aren't in the humanity business. They're in it for something a lot more obvious and not quite as noble, namely MONEY.


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TS Enthusiast
Well it is and it isnt.

In UK Sky with Now TV ,their streaming division, have the rights for nearly all blockbuster movies released in the last 2 years, by watching Canadian or US Netflix you can then see nearly all these films as part of your Netflix package so you don't have to subscribe to NOW TV as well, now with geoblocking you must use Sky services,buy them or pirate for new movies. I dont like that Netflix have done this but they were given no choice Sky are very powerful.


TS Evangelist
I could make some nice money selling both UK and American VPN access. The only way I can see netflix blocking such services is by blocking IPS of known VPN companies of which im not one :D