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Using Netflix outside of its predetermined borders? Well, that might start to change very soon.
If recent reports are anything to go by, the entertainment streaming portal is starting to crack down on users relying on tools that hide their geographical locations. As is the case with many entertainment services, Netflix is only available in a select few countries. Due to licensing agreements, each country serves a unique set of content.
A first of its kind for the service, TorGuard’s Ben Van der Pelt told TorrentFreak that its users have been experiencing problems since mid-December:
This is a brand new development. A few weeks ago we received the first report from a handful of clients that Netflix blocked access due to VPN or proxy usage. This is the very first time I’ve ever heard Netflix displaying this type of error message to a VPN user.
While Netflix has denied (as reported by CNET) it’s made any changes to its VPN policies, TorrentFreak suspects the content streaming giant might be gearing up for a major new roll-out.
Sony Pictures has reportedly drafted a content protection policy last year which requires Netflix to verify their users’ locations. If implemented, this policy will apply to other streaming services such as Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video as well.
According to TorrentFreak, Netflix is experimenting with a variety of methods including matching the user’s time zone with the web browser or its mobile device’s GPS or forcing Google’s DNS services in the Android app.
And while users have managed to circumvent this recent hiccup by simply updating their IP address, it might just be the first step towards a full-on crack down upsetting many, many users.