Sorry, Unotelly users: as of today you will no longer be able to pay for your subscription to the geo-unblocking service with PayPal.
An email from UnoTelly founder, Nicholas Lin, was sent to subscribers saying that PayPal has severed a payment processing agreement with Unotelly without prior warning.
Part of Lin’s email read: “On February 3rd, 2016, Paypal has severed payment processing agreement unilaterally and without prior warning. PayPal indicated that UnoTelly is not allowed to provide services that enable open and unrestricted Internet access.”
In his mail, Lin says that the move is a strike against internet openness.
“If you believe in an open internet and value the services UnoTelly is providing, I hope you would continue your subscription by updating your payment method from Paypal to credit card,” said Lin in a statement.
At the time of writing, PayPal has not issued an official statement regarding the move.
What’s going on with PayPal?
This is not the first time that PayPal has decided to stop facilitating payments to certain services. On 22 January 2010, PayPal suspended donations to WikiLeaks; three days later, the WikiLeaks PayPal account was opened up once again.
Then again in March 2015, PayPal suspended payments through the service to cloud storage company Mega. According to TechDirt, PayPal had said to Mega that its unique end-to-end encryption “leads to “unknowability of what is on the platform“.
Now that PayPal has allegedly decided not to support UnoTelly, the question must be asked: what is PayPal’s mandate? Are they a service provider or morality police?
Given UnoTelly’s popularity among users who wish to enjoy geo-blocked content, and the Netflix promise to start cracking down on the kind of service that Unotelly offers, the PayPal move may be as a result of the kind of pressure studios have been applying to Netflix over protecting regional licensing for content.
Fortunately, the internet is like a water balloon – squeeze here, and the water just moves there- so there are many different ways to get things done online. It’s unlikely that any move short of buying out and shutting down all companies that offer geo-unblocking services will entirely prevent companies like Unotelly from operating.
We’ve asked PayPal for a statement about this, and will update the story accordingly so be sure to check back later to hear its side of the story.
In the meantime, UnoTelly users that were paying with PayPal will need to update their payment information as soon as possible.[Source – UnoTelly]