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Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings speaks during the launch of streaming internet subscription service for movies and TV shows to TVs and computers in Canada at a news conference in Toronto September 22, 2010.MIKE CASSESE/Reuters

Netflix says it hasn't changed its policy on users who try to access content licensed for streaming in other countries.

The policy is that users shouldn't be doing it.

It's widely known that Canadian Netflix users can access TV shows and movies licensed for the American market by using a free or subscription-based online service.

The popular tools mask a user's true location and trick Netflix – or other websites – into believing the user is actually somewhere else in the world, where different content is available to stream.

A news story on suggested that Netflix has recently begun cracking down on those location-altering services.

Netflix declined an interview request but released a statement saying it hasn't changed its policies on restricting access to content based on geography.

"Virtually crossing borders to use Netflix is a violation of our terms of use because of content licensing restrictions. We employ industry standard measures to prevent this kind of use. There hasn't been any recent changes to the Netflix VPN policy or terms of use," reads the statement.

A telephone poll with 2,002 anglophone Canadians commissioned last spring by the Media Technology Monitor found about 32 per cent of the respondents were Netflix subscribers.

About one in three of the Netflix users said they had figured out how to access content meant for U.S. subscribers.

The Media Technology Monitor poll was conducted by Forum Research between March 18 and April 19 of last year. The results are considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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