Netflix not cracking down on VPNs after all

8 Jan 2015

After much debate online and anger from users of online proxy services, Netflix has denied that it was going to block and ban any of its customers who use virtual private networks (VPN).

On Monday, reports said that the world’s most popular streaming site was beginning the new year with a series of clamp downs on services that would allow users to access versions of the site they would normally not be able to access due to licensing issues.

Most commonly, a significant number of users have been using services online offering them a way round the block and seemingly from Netflix’s chief product officer, Neil Hunt, this is going to stay.

Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix

Speaking at CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Hunt quite clearly stated to journalists attending the event, “The claims that we have changed our policy on VPN are false. People who are using a VPN to access our service from outside of the area will find that it still works exactly as it has always done.”

According to CNet, the company is well aware that the use of VPN violates its terms of service agreement, but its attitude to the issue appears to be one of response to individual claims.

“The reality is we blacklist known VPNs in accordance with our content contracts – Foxtel, for example, owns House of Cards in Australia, so they kind of like us to block them,” said Hunt. “But we are not changing our policy. It remains the same as it ever was.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic