Amtrak Blocked Hypnotist Site, Netflix From Wi-Fi

Amtrak blocked amateur hypnotist social network and video streaming services from Wi-Fi on its trains.

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Amtrak passengers looking to enjoy a Netflix movie are out of luck, according to documents obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request.

Lovers of streaming video and hypnotists alike are out of luck if they travel with Amtrak.

The rail service blocks hypnotising.org, a social network for amateur hypnotists, along with video streaming websites Netflix, Hulu and YouTube on its Wi-Fi.

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Documents released to government transparency group MuckRock showed a list of websites blocked by Amtrak also include chatroulette.com, last.fm and about 100 Netflix domains.

In a letter to MuckRock co-founder Michael Morisy, Freedom of Information Act officer Sharron Hawkins said the list is updated by a third-party contractor.

"It is not possible for Amtrak to review all websites or to identify new websites as they are created," Hawkins wrote, "so we have engaged a third-party content filtering service, which updates its URL and keyword lists each night."

Amtrak Media Relations Manager Christina Leeds told Whispers Amtrak does not allow streaming sites due to bandwidth restrictions.

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"We have limited bandwidth onboard on the trains, and the Wi-Fi does not support high bandwidth action," Leeds said.

She said hypnotising.org was "inadvertently blocked."

When the service started in 2011, Amtrak was accused of blocking the Guardian and Seattle Gay News, websites which were not listed in the documents.

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