US military bases overseas are exempt from Netflix geo-blocking

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Recently, Netflix promised it would start clamping down on users that make use of VPN services, DNS scramblers and the like which allow users to watch Netflix content not available in the country they’re trying to access the company’s video on demand (VOD) service from.

But Netflix has some serious work ahead of it in order to block all disputed territories while also maintaining access for certain US citizens. For instance, a report on Torrent Freak has revealed that Netflix will not be doing this to subscribers who happen to be stationed at US military bases abroad.

Spokesperson for Netflix, Anne Marie Squeo told Stars and Stripes, “Netflix always exempts U.S. military bases around the world”.

We should clarify that this excludes military personnel who live outside of these military bases like Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Fowler.

Should the VOD service swing the IP address ban hammer in earnest, then Fowler and others stationed abroad outside of a military base would not be able to access Netflix US.

Stars and Stripes reports that Fowler, unhappy at the prospect of being geo-blocked, said “But I’m mad if I can’t change where my Internet is so I can’t watch my own shows.”

Thankfully for Fowler, the military and other Netflix enthusiasts not based in the US, VPN and geo-unblocking service UnoTelly and many others have said they will continue to work to allow subscribers to access Netflix in foreign territories.

For many of these soldiers, Netflix is a reminder of home. Shaundell Wright, another US soldier based in Yokosuka Navy Base’s Port Operations Dispatch explained it better than we could:

“For me Netflix is a way of being home. It boosts your morale by letting you watch the things you would be able to see at home. We are already in a foreign country and everything is so different. So, to be able to watch Netflix feels good”.

Whatever happens with this whole geo-unlocking saga, it will be very interesting to see what Netflix does next, because it’s clearly quite a complex issue without a one-size-fits-all solution.

[Via – Torrent Freak] [Image CC by 2.0 – DVIDSHUB]


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.