New Australian bill could outlaw VPNs in bid to stamp out Hulu, Netflix ‘piracy’

A new bill being considered in Australia could outlaw the use of VPNs in that country in the name of fighting piracy. Australia has flirted with Internet censorship for at least a decade — various proposals for filtering the ‘Net have been proposed, typically on “Think of the children” grounds. But this new bill is different. Unlike previous efforts, it doesn’t attempt to justify itself as a measure to improve public safety or security.

The first line of the bill’s general outline reads: “The purpose of this Bill is to introduce a key reform to reduce online copyright infringement. The scheme is deliberately prescriptive; it is intended as a precise response to a specific concern raised by copyright owners.”

Such candor is refreshing. The US could learn from Australia’s example.

It continues: “3.The Bill provides that copyright owners would be able to apply directly to the Federal Court for an injunction to disable access to an infringing online location… The injunction power would only apply to online locations operated outside Australia.” [Emphasis added].

That last sentence is critical to understanding the purpose of the bill. If you live in the United States, you have access to a huge amount of content from online services like Hulu and Netflix. Travel to a foreign country and connect to your Netflix or Hulu account, and the amount of content available to you will fall dramatically. It doesn’t matter if you have a verified US billing address — just because you can watch Futurama on Netflix when sitting at home doesn’t mean you can watch it while traveling abroad.

Read the Full Article: Source – Extreme Tech

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