Netflix customer backlash builds across Ditch

Netflix users in Australia are protesting the streaming giant's move to block customers accessing the service using a VPN. Photo / AP
Netflix users in Australia are protesting the streaming giant's move to block customers accessing the service using a VPN. Photo / AP

Since the announcement earlier in the year that streaming giant Netflix was going to begin efforts to block customers using a VPN from accessing its service, the customer backlash has shown no signs of subsiding.

This week Open Media penned a public letter to the Netflix CEO imploring him to reverse the initiative, news.com reported.

The crackdown has made it increasingly difficult for customers outside the US to access the superior catalogue available to those inside the company's home country. But it also means customers using a VPN due to concerns about their internet privacy are being kept out.

Reed Hastings, left, CEO of Netflix, with Ted Sarandos Chief Content Officer of Netflix, pose in Marseille. Photo / AP
Reed Hastings, left, CEO of Netflix, with Ted Sarandos Chief Content Officer of Netflix, pose in Marseille. Photo / AP

"Over the past few months, Netflix has begun blocking VPN users from accessing any content in the Netflix library, as a way to enforce national licensing restrictions," the open letter reads. "This is a huge problem for our privacy-conscious supporters, who use VPNs as an essential, user-friendly tool to protect their privacy in a post-Snowden world."

Nearly 45,000 people have signed the corresponding petition in support of the letter.
"We need easy, accessible and effective tools to protect our privacy online while still enjoying the internet we love - and VPNs do just that," the letter reads.
"We shouldn't have to choose between Netflix and privacy."

Geoblocking has been a contentious issue in recent times. But advocates of the practice in Australia have had some unlikely support last month when the Government's Productivity Commission called for the law to be clarified, making it legal for Australians to use VPNs to circumvent geoblockers.

"The use of geoblocking technology is pervasive, and frequently results in Australian consumers being offered a lower level of digital service [such as a more limited music or TV streaming catalogue] at a higher price than in overseas markets," the report said.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 30 May 2017 21:52:05 Processing Time: 609ms