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Netflix cracks down on proxy services used to access foreign content

​Netflix says it's planning on cracking down on users who use virtual private networks and proxy services to view content not available in their countries.

Americans have access to nearly twice as much Netflix content as Canadians

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, gives a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The streaming service says it's making progress in licensing content across borders. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Netflix says it's planning on cracking down on users who use virtual private networks and proxy services to view content not available in their countries.

Many of the company's distribution deals with major studios and content providers are negotiated on a regional basis, meaning certain titles are only available to users in certain countries.

Some Canadians use VPN services to stream Netflix movies and TV shows available in the United States, which according to the website Netflixable has around twice as many available titles.

The U.S. version of Netflix also features more Hollywood blockbusters and recent seasons of popular network shows than its Canadian counterpart.

In a blog post, David Fullagar, Netflix's vice-president of content delivery, said the company is making progress in licensing content across borders but is now implementing new measures to end the use of so-called unblockers and other proxy services.

The company has always been against the use of such services and has said it takes measure to shut them down, but Fullagar said the company is "evolving" its approach to the problem and the new strategy will be in place in the coming weeks.

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