Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet The Almighty Buck

New Zealand ISP Offers "Global Mode" So Users Can Circumvent Geo-Restrictions 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-price-for-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Many content sites restrict access from different markets or have variable pricing for downloads in different markets. New Zealand-based ISP Slingshot is now offering a 'global mode' that lets customers hide their location. This means they can access overseas online services that would normally be restricted to specific markets."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Zealand ISP Offers "Global Mode" So Users Can Circumvent Geo-Restrictions

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:32AM (#44130453)

    Seems like (N/U)SA needs to go there and free the shit out of them from that regime whatever they have. Do they also have oil?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:34AM (#44130459)

    this comment is not available in your country

  • by Parsiuk (2002994) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:36AM (#44130461) Homepage
    There are no borders in the Internet. End of story.
    • by Zemran (3101) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:57AM (#44130559) Homepage Journal

      ... and the USA is the land of the free.

      • by nhat11 (1608159)

        Yes USA is the land of the free... but that doesn't apply to other countries lol

        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          Yes USA is the land of the free... but that doesn't apply to other countries lol

          I checked this, but it turned out not to be true. The USA uses and makes plenty of non-free software still.

      • and the USA is the land of the free.

        Is it hilarious or sad that this comment is (currently) rated 5: Funny?

    • by JustOK (667959)

      Then why do they have internet border routers?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://borders.com would like to disagree.

    • explain BGP to me then.
    • If a plug can be pulled to disconnect you, it has a border.

    • by six025 (714064) on Friday June 28, 2013 @07:46AM (#44130953)

      There are no borders in the Internet. End of story.

      There are no borders, anywhere - END OF STORY. ... except those invented by "man" for the purposes of control, so why would the internet be any different? Because it's cyber? ;-)

      Anyway, I agree with the premise that there should be no borders on the 'net so just playing the devils advocate here. And I also truly believe that borders between countries now cause more problems than they solve, but that's just an ideal not the reality, unfortunately.

      Peace,
      Andy.

      • There are no borders, anywhere - END OF STORY

        Except for oceans, great lakes, raging rivers, mountain ranges, ice sheets, impassible jungles & deserts and rivers of lava....

        • by Anonymous Coward

          ... and for these we invented boats, kaltrops, airplanes, machetes, chaisaws, etc etc.

          • by aevan (903814)
            *still trying to figure which one of those are circumvented by 'kaltrops' . Slows glacial advancement by 1/2 ? :P
      • Why is "man" in quotes?

        I'd be interested in hearing more about how you and your like-minded friends think the world would work without borders defining the legal codes to which a person is expected to adhere at any time.

        If anything, I've pondered that internet routing should be changed to strongly prefer staying within a particular country's borders if the source and destination are in the same jurisdiction. Of course, if one wants to route through the world, tor/proxys are easy as pie, but the bulk of norm

    • yes truly - for example I can't get the Daily Show here (in NZ) on cable or satellite ... but it's region blocked so I can't play it on their web site either - apparently the US thinks some things are just too funny, or maybe too close to the bone, for us to see

      • That's interesting, I don't get the Daily Show over cable here in Indonesia either, but the online feed from comedy.com works just fine. I watched several episodes earlier today.
      • You really think some US Government employee embargoed episodes of The Daily Show to New Zealand? I understand the great karma for America Hate but let's call a spade a spade, it's either not worth selling ads to you or your government restricts free speech.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Another ISP in NZ was doing it first before pulling the plug recently this year.

  • by eddy (18759) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:42AM (#44130497) Homepage Journal

    Sound great. Wish my ISP had the same. All this 'free market' is bullshit when it's perverted with artificial region restrictions. Here's the REALITY of it straight out of my inbox:

    This is an important announcement for our MYREGIONHERE users regarding pricing on the Green Man Gaming website. We are always reviewing our policies here and have decided to make a change that will help us deliver the value you expect from GMG. All MYREGIONHERE users will notice that prices on the Green Man Gaming website are now shown as GBP (£) instead of USD ($). Of course, this is a change and change doesn't suit everyone, but we hope that this will enable us to stay competitive and continue to serve your market diligently. Thanks for your continued support The GMG Team

    Some times even if you can actually buy the product, you can't use it because there are further region checks down the line (e.g steam refusing out-of-region keys).

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Friday June 28, 2013 @06:24AM (#44130661)
      My wife loves Sims. She bought Sims3 in the US before we moved out of the country. She later downloaded an expansion. The expansions are country coded. She had to return it, then buy it from a US server, lying about her address. It didn't do a location check on her IP, so she could download it, but she had to lie to access a computer service to buy it, so a felon she is, if anyone ever cared to prosecute that particular crime.

      It's amazing how hard they made it to buy things. At least region coded players are gone (Even if the media is still player-coded), because there is no more PAL/NTSC with HDTV. I've never seen a TV, US or otherwise that couldn't play any HDMI source, even if not "proper" to the region. For all the ills of HDMI, I no longer have to look for PAL/NTSC when buying components to go with my mix of media. Though an Xbox will only play media of its region, even if my PAL Xbox works fine on my NTSC HDTV over HDMI, I must still buy PAL games. So any US-only release is out, and my Wii is US, so I have to buy mail-order from the US, ship it to a US address (none of the major media peddlers will sell out of the country), and have it re-shipped to get to me.

      Games like World of Warcraft let you buy from anywhere and play like you are anywhere. Someone in the US can buy a Europe region game and play Europe servers.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        My wife loves Sims. She bought Sims3 in the US before we moved out of the country. She later downloaded an expansion. The expansions are country coded. She had to return it, then buy it from a US server, lying about her address. It didn't do a location check on her IP, so she could download it, but she had to lie to access a computer service to buy it, so a felon she is, if anyone ever cared to prosecute that particular crime.

        It's amazing how hard they made it to buy things.

        No, that's only surprising. What's amazing is all the people who would rather become criminals than buy a game from someone who doesn't make them into one.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          I eventually talked my wife into illegally pirating the games. She's a felon buying it her preferred way, but less illegal is stealing it, rather than buying it. But when the newest expansion came out, she already bought it before I knew it was out.
      • At least region coded players are gone (Even if the media is still player-coded), because there is no more PAL/NTSC with HDTV.

        I get what you're saying, but it's still a pain for me to watch TV. After living and collecting DVDs in America for over a decade, my wife and I moved to Germany. Needless to say, we didn't throw out our DVD collection. We asked about buying region-free players, but no one could guarantee us any kind of warranty for a reasonable price. I would cheaper to throw away a broken DVD player and get a new one. Obviously, my answer was "Screw that".

        We now plug in an HDMI cable into one of laptops and play it o

        • Get a bargain basement DVD player from China, then google up region unlocking it. You can usually make it "region free"
          Most of the super cheap devices can't be bothered to make different versions for every country, so they manufacture one and software code it.
          It usually just involves hitting a certain key sequence to get into the diagnostics.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          I have around 200 US DVDs and I live outside the US. I googled for unlockable DVD players, and bought one on the list, flashed the firmware, and can play anything. But I can also play DVDs in any of my more-than-I-should-have game systems. At least one local and at least one US, all HDMI, so I can pop a DVD into a "native" player. Sadly, the goal of region coding was to restrict export/playing, but has lead me to just buy more DVD players. Well, that and I have a region-free program and rip any new DVD
      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        I've never seen a TV, US or otherwise that couldn't play any HDMI source, even if not "proper" to the region.

        There are a decent number of TVs sold in the US that can't sync to 50Hz input. Most are fairly cheap, but some are top of the line (like the Panasonic plasmas).

        But, since every media player can do a decent frame rate conversion for output, it really doesn't matter. I watch 25 and 50 fps content all the time by letting the media player convert the output to 60fps.

    • "Free market" is for big corps. For you and me, is feudalism 2.0
  • What is global mode? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:53AM (#44130539)
    Is it some proxy? Is it a weirdly labeled block of IPv4 addresses? Is it some DNS level trickery?
  • Kim Dotcom? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by symbolset (646467) *
    Until they straighten out their misfeasance in the Kim Dotcom saga I have no business in NZ. AFAIK they are still an arm of the US DOJ.
    • AFAIK they are still an arm of the US DOJ.

      . . . and the US DOJ seems to be an arm of Hollywood . . .

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        . . . and the US DOJ seems to be an arm of Hollywood . . .

        With the rest being an arm of Wall Street.

    • I'll see your misfeasance and raise you a deliberate disentendu on the part of all those who equate an entire nation with a tiny minority in power.
  • by Alsee (515537) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:58AM (#44130565) Homepage

    They are obviously promoting PIRACY, because paying the copyright-holder's requested price (possibly zero) to converse in one region while you're in a different region is blatantly THEFT.
    Theft theft theft theft stealing theft theft theft burglary theft theft theft larceny theft theft rape theft.

    -

    • Re:PIRACY! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fa2k (881632) <pmbjornstad@@@gmail...com> on Friday June 28, 2013 @06:16AM (#44130639)

      I don't know if you're being sarcastic, but you're on to something. If we're talking streaming of entertainment, the people using this service are not actually breaking copyright in the US or NZ. They are not making a copy. They are however very likely breaking the terms of use of the service (though the streaming site could be relying 100 % on IP-blocking, and not have it written in their terms of use). As we know from whatshisname who downloaded papers from MIT, terms of use violations can be a felony in the US. Half-measures like this global mode seem stupid to me. The content owner insist on a legalistic, to the letter interpretation of copyright. If you're going to infringe on their copyiright (or ToS, etc) anyway, why not do it for free and download a torrent? Anyway, the streaming services should just correct their IP->country mapping, unless the NZ ISP uses some kind of shared VPNish IP space.

      • Re:PIRACY! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Caitlin Fitzsimmons (2966349) on Friday June 28, 2013 @06:56AM (#44130793)
        Except that national law on consumer rights trumps terms of use conditions. It's not just streaming. Another example might be buying songs from iTunes. Apple charges Australian customers more per song than US customers (and probably NZ customers too but I don't know the situation there). Apple has been asked to explain itself to an Australian Senate committee and the matter is not yet resolved. In the mean time, I don't think I'm breaking any law or moral code by maintaining a US iTunes account so that I don't have to pay higher prices. It's really no different to parallel imports of physical goods. I don't think I'm doing anything wrong by getting my friend in San Francisco to buy Clinique foundation and post it to me either. It costs twice as much in Australia for the exact same product. It is Clinique (and Apple) who are in the wrong here as far as I'm concerned.
      • It is not just paid stuff. A lot of free streaming video is behind a country blocker.
        And the ability to buy stuff\get sales\get lower prices.

      • by sjames (1099)

        At the same time, it could be that we simply need to ban some kinds of restrictions entirely and then people don't have to work around them. Perhaps the content provider isn't entitled to terms of use added on top of copyright.

        If employers are free to offshore whatever they can (and often hide the fact), perhaps consumers are likewise entitled to cross borders at will (and hide the fact).

    • Theft theft theft theft stealing theft theft theft burglary theft theft theft larceny theft theft rape theft.

      You forgot your META tags ;)

  • by Danious (202113) on Friday June 28, 2013 @06:07AM (#44130613) Homepage

    In NZ the Commerce Commission has long held that region encoding is illegal under NZ law. What that effectively means is that when you buy a DVD player in NZ it is already chipped by the manufacturer to play any region, and you can buy DVD's from any region and play them completely legally. Basically it's a necessary move by a country so small that we have to ride the coat-tails of other countries for content distribution.

    • The former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Allan Fels, said that DVD region zoning was illegal in Australian law too. Unfortunately he was too busy dealing with Telstra's monopoly power in the telco industry to do anything about it.
      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        The former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Allan Fels, said that DVD region zoning was illegal in Australian law too. Unfortunately he was too busy dealing with Telstra's monopoly power in the telco industry to do anything about it.

        Really? I haven't seen a region locked DVD player since they first came out. Even my new Samsung Blu-ray player happily plays region 1 and 2 discs. The only region locking I've seen is on computer DVD drives and that I don't think have ever stopped any bored young geek.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      NZ has held that whatever the US FBI wants, they get, regardless of NZ law. I'm not OK with that and I don't even live there.
  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Friday June 28, 2013 @06:54AM (#44130783)

    It's really frustrating when I can't legally purchase an audio book because of my physical location. I think audible.com and audible.co.uk use credit card numbers and credit card billing addresses in addition to IP addresses so the fascist publishers won't be fooled by this sort of thing unfortunately.

    • by Kvan (30429)
      In many cases though, the automated credit card processing doesn't actually check the address. I'm not sure if its my bank that doesn't offer the service to payment processors or what, but I can generally provide arbitrary billing addresses and have them accepted with no ill effects.
    • by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Friday June 28, 2013 @07:48AM (#44130965)

      If they won't sell it to you, pirate it. That's obviously what they want you to do.

      • If they won't sell it to you, pirate it. That's obviously what they want you to do.

        You know, this is the comment that has made the most logical and monetary sense that I have read today. People (read: people/their corporate holding companies/resellers) basically put themselves in a position where piracy is the only way something is feasible.

        Not counting people who are just leeches and don't want to but anything, ever, this is an excellent representation of the self-fulfilling prophecy hard at work.

      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        Well obviously if the audiobook torrent (with the same narrator) were available it wouldn't be a problem. I thought that went without saying. But that isn't always the case. I have found several cases where an audiobook I want isn't available at all (except maybe through iTunes at ridiculous prices) from my location. I would need a UK based credit card and physical address and IP address. I've tried entering a fake UK address in my billing information and using a UK based proxy. Doesn't work. I think they a

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Friday June 28, 2013 @09:25AM (#44131509)
    But how am I to get the correct geo-coded ads? I'll be disappointed when the ad says "Meet single ladies in $fakeregion," if $fakeregion isn't where I'm sitting.
    • But how am I to get the correct geo-coded ads? I'll be disappointed when the ad says "Meet single ladies in $fakeregion," if $fakeregion isn't where I'm sitting.

      Worry not, my friend!

      IE 10.2 will have location information included as part of every request as a required element. If it's missing, you'll get an HTTP 400. ;)

  • So, you're going to help them commit a 'crime' by circumventing the TOS of a site which says you're not allowed to access it?

    I fully expect a trade delegation to make their displeasure known ... you can't have Kiwis buying songs only intended for Americans or not paying the jacked up prices they expect to receive.

    They may have to push for regime change. ;-)

  • That's how the internet is supposed to work. It's the INTERnet, not the localnet.
  • I've lived in NZ and hope to return to living there at some point. I'm from the UK.
    One thing I missed while living there was the BBC iPlayer service (or maybe not ;) ).
    If I had an ISP in NZ who could give me a UK IP Address I'd be laughing all the way to my TV/Laptop.
    I'm sure there's other reasons why you might want to cover up your from NZ (Mr Dotcom!) but this is the best one I can think of.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      You're welcome [witopia.net]. I live in Canada, and I use it to access US Netflix and the BBC. This kind of stuff has been around for ages. Although this is the first case I can think of that an ISP is offering it direct to their customers.
  • A year ago, another small NZ ISP (FYX) had the same thing, but then they closed it after a very short time - http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/05/after-just-two-days-nz-isp-shuts-down-its-region-skipping-global-mode/ [gizmodo.com.au]

    • by sirsnork (530512)

      The company behind it (MaxNet) also got bought out by a much larger player with an Australian head office (Vocus) which many suspect played a hand in them turning it off

      • by mgcarley (735176)

        Ahhh Maxnet. I remember when I was able to get a whole 2mbit/s from them (when everyone else had 128k) with 40GB of usage. Wasn't cheap though.

        Vocus, however, is a wholesaler - I don't know what interest they would have in having Maxnet/Fyx turn off such a feature, as it would surely be beneficial - so long as they get paid for the megabits, what would they care? That is, unless, it was done by somehow abusing the PacificIX infrastructure (which, when it was being pitched to me, effectively allows NZ ISPs t

Philogyny recapitulates erogeny; erogeny recapitulates philogyny.

Working...