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Netflix Shutting Down Unblockers and Proxies Soon, but Hopes to Eventually End Regional Streaming

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Netflix knows that people use proxies and Chrome extensions to access the Netflix catalog for other regions, and unfortunately the company is finally getting serious about shutting that shit down.

In a blog post published Thursday, Netflix’s vice president of content delivery architecture, David Fullagar, explains that in the coming weeks proxies and unblockers will become ineffective:

Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. 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. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.

ArsTechnica writes that the changes may also impact subscribers who use virtual private network services:

While Netflix didn’t mention VPNs (virtual private network) services in today’s post, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to Ars that the enforcement will target VPN users. Netflix acknowledged that this will “most likely” also cut off people who are in the appropriate country to watch a video but use location-masking tools to boost security or privacy. It’s “hard to filter those folks out,” Netflix acknowledged, so users may need to turn off VPNs and similar tools to watch video regardless of where they live.

On the bright side, Fullagar reiterates several times throughout his post that Netflix aims to eventually offer the same catalog in every region, saying “that’s the goal we will keep pushing towards.”

Some day, we may live in a truly undivided world–a world with no Netflix borders. Until then, I guess we’ll have to deal with our respective regional offerings which, speaking from experience, if you live in Canada…whew. Have fun with that.

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