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    What Should We Think Of VPNs?

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    Paeter
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    What Should We Think Of VPNs?

    Post  Paeter on April 20th 2018, 10:35 am

    Adam Collings and Reed Benson stumbled on an interesting topic (that I don't have much knowledge or opinion on right now), so I thought I'd copy the relevant text and start a new topic here for any who want to explore it. In Adam's last post he wrote:

    AdamCollings) wrote:

    Reed Benson wrote:
    I've seen BBC stuff on Netflix before, especially in other countries. My VPN can give me access to many different versions of the service, you see.

    Actually, using a UK server might help me watch it on the BBC website itself...

    (Is this unethical?)

    Hmm.
    There's a question.
    On one hand, BBC shows are financed through the taxes of British citizens. They get to watch these shows for free because they've already paid for them. It could be argued that because you're not paying any tax to the British government that you're not entitled to see it for free. If you're paying for content, then you're not stealing. You're probably just violating a terms-of-service.


    But then there is the ethical responsibility of artists to make their art available to all who are willing to pay for it. Do artists have such a responsibility. Many may oppose this idea, but I might argue that yes -a little bit. I've spent so much of my life with money I am willing to hand over, in order to legally consume content that I am interested in, but I'm not allowed to, because it's just not available.

    I personally choose not to use VPNs to bypass geographic blocking. But I'm also strongly opposed to exclusive licensing and geo-blocking.
    Then again, I'm also a hypocrite because my book is temporarily in Kindle Unlimited, which means it's only purchasable from Amazon (although it IS available worldwide and readable by anyone with an eReader, computer, smart phone or tablet).


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    Re: What Should We Think Of VPNs?

    Post  Paeter on April 20th 2018, 10:37 am

    As I said, I don't know much about VPNs. But of possible relevance are a couple videos I made awhile back on the subject of emulation. Part 1 doesn't have much relevance, but parts 2 & 3 might.

    Part 2- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nKUJCSNeeU

    Part 3- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH5lOBVZ8uc


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    Re: What Should We Think Of VPNs?

    Post  Paeter on April 20th 2018, 10:41 am

    I'd also add that I have real sympathy for those living in foreign countries without an alternative to VPNs for accessing some of the familiar comforts of home. So no matter where the truth lands, I've got grace, mercy, sympathy and respect for those facing this potential dilemma.


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    Re: What Should We Think Of VPNs?

    Post  Reed Benson on April 21st 2018, 6:30 pm

    As possibly the only regular VPN user on this forum, here are the arguments for and against using one that battle in my mind...

    For:
    - Living in China, I can't use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, Google, etc. without it. Facebook helps me stay in contact with several friends and family I would otherwise not hear from. YouTube helps me follow the news and a lot of my interests. Twitter...I don't know what good Twitter does me, but it seems like I get something out of it.
    - I also can't access a lot of religious websites I need to study.
    - I can't even get to several English teaching sites that I use to come up with ideas for my classes.
    - Without a VPN to watch Netflix, I would have to spend a lot of money to buy (non-bootlegged) copies of many films I want to see on DVD.

    Against:
    - It is technically against the law to use a VPN in this country without express permission, though I'm not sure if that law extends to expatriates or tourists. It might only be for nationals.
    - Using region-blocked sites like Netflix, the BBC's video site, Crackle, etc. when you're not actually in the region is technically breaking copyright laws.
    - As much as I think copyright laws are overblown, they are laws, and the Bible is pretty clear on obeying them. That's why I stopped buying bootlegged DVDs.
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    Re: What Should We Think Of VPNs?

    Post  jorowi on April 23rd 2018, 8:43 am

    Privacy concerns are something that may lead people to use VPNs. Facebook, Twitter, and various other sites and services are tracking you online even if you don't have an account or ever visit their website.

    If you've ever visited a website with a "share" button or any other social media buttons, you're being tracked and companies have profiles on you. They can identify you based on your browsing habits and can even gather data like your screen resolution and the site you were at before typing in their URL.

    VPNs are one way the people can reduce the amount of data gathered about them.

    Also, if you're using any kind of accountability or filtering software you're most likely running through a VPN or proxy (especially if it's on a smartphone).


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    Re: What Should We Think Of VPNs?

    Post  Reed Benson on April 23rd 2018, 6:36 pm

    I guess my biggest concern is the ethics of using my VPN to access Netflix libraries in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, etc. that are different from the one in the US. That seems to be breaking region-specific copyright laws, though I'm probably doing that already by using US Netflix while in China. But since Netflix isn't available in China, I don't feel that bad about using the US version over a VPN.
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    Re: What Should We Think Of VPNs?

    Post  jorowi on April 25th 2018, 8:30 am

    Reed Benson wrote:I guess my biggest concern is the ethics of using my VPN to access Netflix libraries in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, etc. that are different from the one in the US. That seems to be breaking region-specific copyright laws, though I'm probably doing that already by using US Netflix while in China. But since Netflix isn't available in China, I don't feel that bad about using the US version over a VPN.

    Yup. I get it. My dad lives in the Philippines. I just wanted to point out reasons to use a VPN that don't have to do with accessing region-locked content.


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