Earlier this month, Netflix announced that it was cracking down on the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to bypass its country/geographic licensing restrictions. Because certain fills and shows can only be streamed in certain countries, the company restricts content for certain users depending on their location. But the good news is that U.S. soldiers and military personnel who are currently serving on military bases will still be allowed to use VPNs with Netflix.
Netflix has long prohibited its subscribers from accessing content through a VPN. As you may already know, VPNs allow Internet users to bypass country restrictions by rerouting their traffic through a different geographic location. Even if a subscriber lives in Canada, for instance, he or she could use a VPN based in the U.S. to make it appear that they live in the U.S. The purpose in doing so is to allow the subscriber to view content that’s restricted in his or her country of residence.
Even though it was against their policy, however, Netflix has turned a blind eye to the use of VPNs among it subscribers. It wasn’t until earlier this month when it announced the expansion of its service to 130 additional countries when it began to enforce this rule. Now, the company says that it will block subscribers who try to access content through a VPN. The only exception to this rule is U.S. military bases overseas.
The popular streaming TV/movie service provider said U.S. military bases around the world are “exempt” from this rule, meaning service members may continue to stream content through VPVs without fear of being banned. The only service members who cannot stream content through a VPN are those who live off base, in which case they must abide by the country restrictions set forth by Netflix.
“Netflix always exempts U.S. military bases around the world. They will still be able to access the U.S. catalog,” said Netflix spokesperson Anne Marie Squeo in a statement to the press.
This is certainly good news for the thousands of U.S. service members who are currently deployed overseas. It may sound insignificant, but being able to watch movies and TV shows is a welcomed amenity in the military.
What do you think of Netflix’s decision to exempt U.S. military bases from its VPN restrictions?