Netflix to Clamp Down on VPN, Proxy Users

Soon after Netflix announced at CES that it had launched service in 130 more countries, it amplified an ongoing issue for the OTT giant  -- the use of VPNs and proxies to circumvent geo-restricted content.

When implemented, those techniques enable the user to trick the system and access content in areas of the world where Netflix doesn’t have distribution rights.

And Netflix has “a ways to go before we can offer people the same filsm and TV series everywhere,” David Fullagar, Netflix’s vice president of content delivery architecture, explained in a blog post discussing how Netflix intends to squelch the use of proxies that “unblock” geo-restricted fare.

He said Netflix will be implementing measures to keep that practice in check, but was confident that they won’t impact subscribers who don’t use proxies.

“This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are,” Fullagar wrote.

But it also seems clear that Netflix will have its hands full trying to pull it off.

“It’s likely to always be a cat-and-mouse game,’ Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt told The Globe and Mail. “We continue to rely on blacklists of VPN exit points maintained by companies that make it their job. Once [VPN providers] are on the blacklist, it’s trivial for them to move to a new IP address and evade.”