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BBC Blocks VPN Access to iPlayer

Posted by: , 20:16 AEDT, Mon October 19, 2015

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The BBC has started clamping down on overseas use of its popular iPlayer catchup platform
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The BBC has taken action against users who use VPN servers to access the broadcaster's iPlayer catchup service from outside of the UK.

The BBC's iPlayer has proven to be extremely popular not just with viewers in the UK, but also those who want to watch the latest BBC programs, shows such as Sherlock and Doctor Who, from outside of the UK. Access to iPlayer by default is blocked for those outside of the UK, but many users use VPN services to bypass the geographical restriction.

Even though the BBC considers these overseas users as "pirates", the broadcaster has not taken any actions to prevent this kind of access.

All that changed last week, when several popular VPN services lost access to iPlayer. A BBC spokesperson informed TorrentFreak that new blocks are indeed in place for unauthorised VPN access to iPlayer. 

"We regularly make updates to our technology to help prevent access to BBC iPlayer from outside the UK which breaks our terms of use," says the BBC.

Some VPN operators have already responded to the block by issuing new IP addresses for users, which in time will most likely also be blocked. They have also expressed disappointment in the move, which they say will block many UK users too who use VPN services for privacy and security reasons.

The BBC also acknowledged that legitimate users may be affected by this latest block, but also promised to work hard to ensure users of private VPN in the UK are not adversely affected.


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