It’s common for many small to medium-sized enterprises to restrict an online user’s access to some of their services, based on their location. However, even homeowners, who are using the internet for their personal use, may come across such digital restrictions. For instance, you tried to access a certain section of Netflix, Hulu, or Spotify and received a message, which read, ‘This content is not available in your country’. This is known as Geo-blocking or Geo-restriction and can be a huge pain, especially if this has restricted a user’s access to their favorite content, that they have been waiting for!
While this can prove to be beneficial for business owners as it protects their confidential data, it can seriously put a bend in a casual user’s mood and spoil the moment for them. Often internet service providers around the world are accused of geo-blocking as they can restrict websites and digital content that is sensitive or bound to flare up their audiences, or simply because it was disrespectful to the sentiments of other individuals and communities.
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Should Geo-Blocking Be Considered Legal?
Geo-blocking is very much legal as media houses and local enterprises have the authority to restrict or block online content that they consider as sensitive for the audiences or confidential to be made easily available for the general public. Geo-blocking is also a method through which corporations can regulate their content and track data analytics respectively.
There are several other reasons for geo-blocking to come into effect. These may include copyright and licensing issues, which are to provide optimal protection to specific content. This way, both local and international content creators can monetize their intellectual properties, such as books, movies, music, TV, and many others, that can easily be plagiarized.
How ToBypass Geo-Blocking Online
Users can follow some of these ways to bypass geo-restrictions. First, they can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Your IP address allows companies to know the location of their audiences. To bypass this, you can use VPN, which can either be a website or an app, depending on the user is using it. Once you use a VPN, all you have to do is copy and paste the link that you want to view and the VPN will make it accessible for you. Users can also use a proxy server, which can reroute the web traffic.
However, while these may not mask your IP address, they are not as effective. Another method through which you can evade geo-restrictions is by using the TOR web browser, which utilizes anonymous routing and efficiently protects user information, using various layers of encryption, which may be harmful to your internet speed. Hence, it’s advised to be avoided at all costs.
The Bottom Line…Should You Opt To Steer Clear Of Geo-Restrictions?
Everything in the world of technology today has both legal and illegal use. While geo-restrictions are bound to protect intellectual property, authoritarian establishments can often use these to manipulate the masses and discriminate against individuals of power and authority. The user cannot define Geo-blocking as per se.
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