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Netflix cracks down on users attempting to bypass regional blocks

Movie-watching is a serious business.


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Jan 4, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 8:40 pm CDT

Netflix is allegedly cracking down on international subscribers who digitally spoof the location of their computers to watch films only permitted in the United States.

These people use things like a virtual private network (VPN) and other methods to stream content restricted to certain countries. For example, Canadian Netflix subscribers recently had The Big Lebowski added to their movie selection while the title is unavailable in the states. 

Which movies are offered at any given time in Netflix’s select countries is dictated by the movie studios.

The crackdown allegedly began a few weeks ago when Netflix’s Android application “started to force Google DNS [domain name system] which now makes it harder to use DNS based location unblockers, and several VPN IP-ranges were targeted as well,” TorrentFreak reported. Ben Van der Pelt of privacy protection service TorGuard told TorrentFreak they noticed issues with access last month. 

Netflix has denied tampering with its service when it comes to subscribers using VPNs, The Independent reported.

H/T TorrentFreak | Photo via Leo Hidalgo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jan 4, 2015, 6:09 pm CST