Rogers Exec Said He Wishes He Could Block Streaming Services Like Netflix, Company Denies It

Rogers is denying that one its senior executives told an industry conference he wishes he could block over-the-top streaming services like Netflix.

David Purdy, Rogers senior vice-president of content, was speaking at Content Industry Connect Toronto, an industry conference held on Feb. 26.

A Tweet posted by conference organizers suggested that Purdy said he wishes he could block over-the-top streaming video services.



Another Tweet, posted by social media consultant Kelly Lynne Ashton, quotes Purdy as saying the government needs to shut down virtual private networks.



While VPNs can be used to access the United States version of Netflix in Canada, they’re also used for things like encrypting private data – like banking information and passwords – on public wifi networks.

Law professor and privacy advocate Michael Geist, who first collected the Tweets and linked to them on his blog, wrote that “virtual private networks are widely used within the business community and play a crucial role for consumers in preserving user privacy, enabling access to information, and facilitating free speech.”

“If Rogers is upset over VPN use to access U.S. Netflix, it should take it up with Netflix,” Geist wrote. “Instead, focusing on consumer VPN use by suggesting that the solution lies in blocking legal technologies in order to stop consumer access is a dangerous one.”

However, a Rogers spokesperson says that Purdy never made the comments.

“It’s hard to communicate a discussion via Twitter,” Patricia Trott, Rogers director of public affairs told Techvibes in an email.

“Dave Purdy did not say the government should ‘shut down’ VPNs, nor did he say that we should have the ability to block over the top services, which is not our view,” she wrote. “In fact, he noted that more regulation is not the answer to the current challenges facing the broadcast industry, which has always been our position.”

A separate request for comment, sent directly to Purdy did not receive a response by Friday evening.