Is Geoblocking Unethical?

Globe Technology posed a twitter question this morning:

So tweeps, do you consider jumping geoblocks in order to access content we can’t get in Canada as unethical?

I hate to answer a question with a question, but let’s spin that back on it’s head and ask the opposite: Does the simple act of geoblocking make any sense?

Information wants to be free. Throw up a paywall or a geoblock and someone will find a way to tunnel under, jump over or blast through the obstruction.

We saw a perfect example with Canada’s 41st Election. Elections Canada insisted that Canadians not tweet the results before all the polls were closed under threat of a steep fine or jail time. In the end, many Canadians violated the ban brazenly, while others simply emailed the results to friends outside Canada and had them tweet the results. Ban violated, no rules broken.

When I stumble into a piece of content that has been geoblocked – usually it’s Saturday Night Live clips on Hulu – I’ll simply go to YouTube to get the content free from shackles.

There are ways to mask your IP address to get access to content from outside of restricted borders – people do that to get Hockey Night in Canada streams .

Is geoblocking unethical? Is violating geoblocks unethical? Neither answer matters, because the internet has no borders.

catch the buzz … pass it on.



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