It appears a proxy war is being fought by content providers against VPN services which allow users to unlock content restrictions with streaming services like Netflix, with PayPal at the centre of it all.
After Toronto-based VPN service UnoTelly was cut off earlier this month by PayPal, CBC News reports popular VPN service Unblock-Us has become another casualty, in what looks to be a crackdown to stop users from accessing Netflix outside local borders.
Yesterday, Unblock-Us acknowledged on Twitter they can no longer accept PayPal, and asked users to update their account payment info. The company explains to unhappy customers if account info is not updated, accounts will be cancelled, and that they’re looking into other services.
We are not currently accepting payments from PayPal. Please log into your account and update your payment info. Thanks for your cooperation!
— Unblock-Us.com (@Unblock_Us) February 16, 2016
Back in January, Netflix announced they planned to cut off proxy access by users who were circumventing borders with VPN services.
When CBC News asked PayPal why Unblock-Us was targeted, the company stated “PayPal has recently discontinued service to certain businesses that actively promote their services as a means to circumvent copyright restrictions and violate intellectual property laws,” while adding “We apologize for any disappointment this may cause our users.”
Copyright lawyer, Ariel Thomas, from the firm Fasken Martineau in Ottawa, suspected production studios may be putting pressure on companies like PayPal and Netflix to stop users from watching content outside their borders.
While severing ties with PayPal won’t exactly shut down a VPN service, it is one major way to stop users from subscribing, as it’s one of the most popular payment services out there. It’s your guess which VPN service is next in this PayPal crackdown.