PayPal Cuts Ties with VPN Unblock-Us in Apparent Netflix Crackdown

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.

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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.

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.

Other VPN services like PureVPN or ZenMate’s Lifetime VPN offer in our Deals Store still accept PayPal as a payment option, if you’re wondering.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Anthony ?

    I’ve been using their service and switching to a credit card is no big deal, so… That said, I imagine it sucks for those who either don’t have a credit card, or those who are paranoid regarding storing payment details with a service provider. Sort of lame to see PayPal picking on these companies, but then picking on people (and often stealing their money) is pretty much what PayPal does.

  • runner

    We know content providers are the ones pressing Netflix on this crackdown. It is just hard to understand why they want people to view content through illegal sources so badly. If they keep restricting access through legal channels, that is the consequence.