[tor-relays] Netflix overblocking non-exit Tor relays

Jonas Bergler jonas at bergler.name
Fri Feb 26 23:50:45 UTC 2016

I've also had several extensive conversations with Netflix support about
this but haven't received an answer beyond a generic 'there is a problem
with your router' type response.

You mention an 'official response from Netflix'  - are you willing to share
this? Mostly I'm interested if this response acknowledges that the block is
because of Tor or not. From my interactions with Netflix support they made
a very clear effort to not acknowledge that they were blocking me and that
the issue was at my end.

-- Jonas

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 11:42 PM, Gero Kuehn <gero.kuehn at gkware.com> wrote:

> tl;dr: Even paying customers sharing IPs with non-exit Tor relays are now
> blocked from accessing Netflix
> Hello everyone !
> After two very fruitless attempts to get the issue silently resolved
> through
> proper Netflix support channels, the time has come to make this public. As
> some of you have probably already read in the news, Netflix recently
> announced a crackdown on what they call "VPN Pirates" and what I call
> "paying customers using the same benefits of globalization that global
> companies like Netflix (ab)use for their taxes".
> They have now obviously changed their strategy regarding the Tor network. I
> am operating (among others) a middle-relay on a German residential fixed-ip
> VDSL-50 line (dc6jgk1/486740353B905AA4731F82C0B4CC25821A62C6E3) behind a
> NAT. Until 2 days ago, none of the devices sharing the same external IP
> address had any problem connecting to Netflix and there never was a Tor
> exit
> relay on that IP as far as I can tell. It is also obviously not possible
> for
> users of the Tor network to connect to Netflix through middle relays. As a
> consequence they should not be classifying such IP addresses as
> VPNs/Proxies
> and they should not be blocking them. This has been escalated and explained
> twice to "technical supervisors" in their callcenters. They did however not
> leave the impression that they a) care or b) intend to fix this at some
> point by parsing the Tor network information properly instead of using
> whatever cheap&wrong hack they use now.
> The official response from Netflix is that you now need to make a choice
> between operating that Tor relay (of any type) and the ability to watch
> Netflix. They also strictly refuse to refund any remaining credit in the
> customer account.
> My personal choice with regards to that blackmailing is as clear my next
> steps (conditional cancellation, 14 day deadline for refund and a legal
> challenge of their German AGB with regards to this issue). I am allergic to
> being blackmailed like that and being called a pirate by a service I
> legitimately paid for.
> For those of you who just would like to contribute to the Tor network
> without having trouble like that, please do not let this nonsense stop you.
> A more diversified Tor network is a more healthy network and I would really
> like to see more normal users operating tor relays operating in as many
> different locations as possible - including DSL lines "that are there
> anyways". If you do not want to be put into a position where you have to
> choose between your contribution to the network and some legal and paid-for
> entertainment, you might want to operate only a bridge until the issue has
> been resolved. If you already have the same problem, make it as expensive
> for Netflix as possible and spread the word about why this block (and
> geoblocking in general) is wrong. Thanks !
> Kind regards,
>   Gero / dc6jgk
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