HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

Dear Hulu: Stop Treating Me Like A Criminal

from the if-you-don't-want-me-to-watch... dept

I mentioned recently that, for some idiotic reason, Hulu has stopped letting me view any of its content. That's because I use WiTopia's VPN service for security reasons. It seems that plenty of other WiTopia users are discovering this, as well, and are getting annoyed. The issue is that Hulu wants to block people from outside the US from viewing its content (for licensing reasons, even if they're pretty pointless in today's world). But, for some bizarre reason, it's been decided that anyone who uses any sort of VPN or proxy can't use Hulu at all because they might be coming from a foreign country. I'm sitting here in California and Hulu tells me I might be illegally accessing its content, so it doesn't allow it. So, instead, I don't give Hulu any additional ad views and I don't watch the content I wanted to watch. How does that help anyone? It appears to make everyone worse off. And it's not like WiTopia is some free anonymous proxy -- it's a pay-service that has been around for ages and is used regularly for WiFi security purposes. Many of its users are US-based (the company is based in the US, and most of its servers are in the US as well). So, because (gasp!) a small group of people outside the US might dare to catch a video (with ads!!), all of Witopia's US customers can't watch any content at all? This is the same ridiculous content industry mindset that drives so many people to unauthorized file sharing: they treat you as a criminal first and force you to prove you're not (or sometimes, don't even let you prove otherwise). The problem the industry is facing isn't due to some guy in Europe catching The Colbert Report from across the sea. It comes from turning off legitimate customers and users who are sick of being treated like crap.

Filed Under: content, security, video, vpn
Companies: hulu, witopia

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    R. Miles (profile), 4 Nov 2009 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    You are honestly saying that if one part of the connection isn't secure you should not use any security at all? That makes no sense.
    Hulu doesn't require a secured connection, so why use a secured channel to access it.

    You do realize he pays them for this right? It is the service they offer in exchange for your money?
    Yes, I gathered this from the article. But the VPN connection isn't the issue as much as *why* the connection is refused.
    I agree with Mike's assessment the reason for blocking the VPN is stupid, but I can't understand his position when a simple change of connection, which also protects his VPN, would be the *better* choice.

    It seems to me from your post that you are more advocating turning off all security just because one site on the internet might not be secure. I think you need to clarify.
    I'll try. VPN connections are used on the premise that a remote computer can connect to another using secure protocols which do their best to prevent unauthorized access to either system.

    The *sole* purpose is for a secured connection, but it shouldn't be used outside of this purpose. In other words, a VPN shouldn't be used to access systems which the VPN wasn't intended.

    Yes, some will argue that it's to protect the connecting machine, but this is why I related it to the administrator account.

    To me, it makes *absolutely no sense* to use a VPN to establish connections for which the VPN wasn't intended to do.

    I'm going out on a limb here, but I would assume the VPN is used to establish the connection between Mike's laptop and the Floor64 servers, such that he can securely work from anywhere in the world. Maybe connections to other businesses as well.

    The entire *purpose* of security is to prevent unauthorized access, so (again, my perception) it makes no sense why a machine designated for security would be used in a non-secured role.

    What's ironic are the articles Techdirt posts about government employees losing their laptops containing sensitive data and then posing the question why these laptops were allowed out of the building to begin with.

    Same concept. Mike *shouldn't* be using a secured laptop to access an unsecured site. Ever.

    But, admittedly, this is just my viewpoint as I consistently see people making this same mistake daily (hence the "log out of the admin account").

    I guess I'm just a bit more cautious in this type of situation. I'd never use a VPN connection to hit a site it wasn't designated to secure itself over.

    There's *no reason* to use VPN to hit the Hulu site.

    Get a netbook to surf the web. Leave the secured laptop to its primary secured role.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.