Our Open Letter to Netflix CEO about VPN Ban
February 28, 2018
Mr. Reed Hastings
100 Winchester Circle
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Dear Mr. Hastings,
My name is Michael Gargiulo. I am 26 and from Atlanta, Georgia. As a Netflix subscriber, I am writing you to express my frustration with your company’s stance on VPN access.
When I travel through airports and hotels, I want to enjoy my Netflix subscription with peace of mind. Connecting to public Wi-Fi is something millions of your customers do, but hackers know your subscribers are perfect targets because Netflix has fully banned secure access via VPNs.
As I am sure you and your senior engineers know, the amount of daily cyber attacks against your 120 million subscribers will continue growing at an exponential rate as long as there are holes to be exploited. Your VPN policy forces us to pick between our privacy and our entertainment. Since the VPN ban was enforced, I refuse to watch Netflix when I am connected to public Wi-Fi. Exposing my identity and data to hackers is not worth it to me, even when I want to watch my shows.
I am writing you today because I have a three suggestions that can turn this major privacy and security risk into new revenue opportunities for Netflix, your shareholders and content creators.
1. Netflix Additional Country Upgrade
I understand you offer different content libraries to different countries. By providing additional country packages, you give users the right to pick which countries they want access to and charge accordingly. Subscribers would pay additional fees per country, and then VPN access would no longer interfere with international licensing concerns that drove the ban to begin with.
2. Netflix Pay-Per-View
Most Netflix subscribers who use a VPN seek access to the US Netflix library. With this option, you would allow all Netflix titles to be accessed anywhere in the world. If a subscriber wants to access content outside their home country, they would pay an additional fee to have access to this content and VPN access to unlicensed content would no longer be an issue.
3. Netflix VPN Access Upgrade
There are millions of Netflix subscribers who use a VPN. All 120 million need a VPN but a smaller portion uses them. With this option, you would charge an additional monthly fee for those accessing Netflix via a VPN. You would need to restrict content access to their verified billing country however a combination of this and either of the options above would result in a number of additional revenue streams.
Given the state of cybersecurity and criminal activity on the internet, your decision to ban VPNs will be a huge liability for Netflix, your customer database that includes Netflix usernames, passwords, credit cards as well as the identities of those who use Wi-Fi to connect to your service over the decade.
Furthermore, your comments about VPN use and the “really inconsequential” VPN community in the past were completely misguided. This isn’t about the value of “VPN users” to your bottom line; it's about ensuring that the people paying you have a safe and secure way to use your service.
Having neglectful policies that guarantee the opposite will only become more maliciously targeted and will continue to put every single Netflix subscriber at serious risk of life-changing cyber crimes for decades to come. After reading this letter and the ideas above, Mr. Hastings, I hope you understand that there are many options available to you that would allow Netflix to remove the VPN ban currently in place and generate more profits for Netflix to distribute. Most importantly, you would restore the basic right to securely access the service we pay for.
Netflix Customer Since 2010
CEO at VPN.com
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OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
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