VPNs Dissolving National Boundaries Online

Sarang Ahuja’s latest post:

sarang ahuja vpn

VPNs (VPN is an acronym that stands for Virtual Private Network) were once thought of as tools used by people who wanted extra computer security, or dissidents trying to keep their online activity secret, or any number of other individuals trying to sustain a higher level of privacy around their online activity. More recently, however, VPNs have been used for some of the most mundane and typical of web purposes – accessing entertainment by enhancing the ease with which one can watch movies and TV through Netflix and other such services that cannot be accessed through IP addresses in certain locations.

Someone in Italy, for example, can’t access Netflix from an Italian IP address (It’s tough to believe that this will be the case in many countries for much longer, with millions of American citizens living temporarily or permanently abroad, and rampant interest in American media around the globe). But if an American visitor to or resident in another country sets up a VPN with an American IP address, Netflix thinks they are still in the US, and they can continue on with their marathon of Breaking Bad, The Wire, True Detective, or any other addictive TV show old or new without being frustrated by having to stop or falling behind their friends back in the States.

One thing that was sort of funny in this New York Times article about this is the quote from a Netflix spokesman: “There’s not a lot we can do to track that since VPNs by their very nature are set up to be difficult to spot.” The concern, in this small quote at least, doesn’t exactly sound urgent. Though circumventing regional barriers is against the Netflix terms of use, people on a VPN still pay for the service. It is not a hack of the movie streaming service, just a way to facilitate access.

That movie streaming services and countless other online services of every sort are, in many cases, no longer subject to national boundaries has major implications for how we consume media, conduct business, and interact in general. To sum it up with a quote from the above mentioned article by the founder and CEO of a cloud based accounting software, “Tech is globalizing everything, so anyone building just a regional strategy isn’t thinking big enough.”

from Sarang Ahuja http://ift.tt/1CNdp3A

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