PayPal block VPN & DNS spoofing services

VPN BanPayPal are reportedly starting to block payments initiated by VPN and DNS services. One such company, UnoTelly has informed their users PayPal is no longer available and that they should add a credit card for future payments if they wish to continue to use the service.

You might think “so what”, what is a VPN or DNS service anyway? Basically they’re a simply way to appear to be somewhere else in the world – the company provides you with a local IP address in the country you wish to look like you’re in and then forward all content you access back to your IP address in your home country.

There are only two reasons why would you want to appear to be somewhere you’re not – either you’re a crook and up to no good or your trying to access a service you shouldn’t. Obviously if you’re a crook we have no sympathy for you, but sometimes you might wish to access a service that’s blocking you and that’s what UnoTelly claimed to do, ‘provide services that enable open and unrestricted Internet access’.

For instance the BBC generally only shows UK content to UK residents. If you’re on holiday you might wish to access BBC content. Similarly NetFlix has different content in the UK to what’s shown in the US and they do base the content available on your IP address. Spoofing your UK IP address to look like a US address will allow you to see US content while you’re in the UK or vice versa.

As companies streaming media are often bound by film studio or content producers licence agreements, spoofing your IP address would technically cause them to break the law. They don’t want to be sued and it appears PayPal don’t want to be facilitating illegal transactions.

PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy states that you can’t use the service for ‘items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark’. It would appear that accessing streaming media through VPN or DNS spoofing services come under this, so if you want to carry on using an IP spoofing service find a different payment method. Bitcoin anyway?