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Ethiopia criminalises Skype by up to 15 years in jail if found guilty

1993 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Yoniii
Wow is the end near for Meles if he's going this low?

New Ethiopian law criminalises Skype, installs Internet filters


Africa Review

The Ethiopian government has passed new legislation that criminalises the use of Internet-based voice communications such as Skype and other forms of Internet phone calling.

Authorities have also installed a new filtering system that monitors the use of the Internet in the tightly-controlled Horn of Africa country in a move seen as targeting dissidents.

The telecoms law strictly prohibits VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) which includes audio and video related social media communication, and the transfer of information packages through the fast growing global cyber networks.

It also authorises the government to inspect any imports of voice communication equipment and accessories, while also banning inbound shipments without prior permission.

Anyone involved in "illegal" phone calling services will be prosecuted and could be jailed for up to 15 years or fined heavily if found guilty.

Making an Internet phone call through different software is punishable by three to eight years-- automatically criminalising Skype and other similar voice services.

The government in the law's introductory annex defends such legislation as a timely and appropriate response to the ever increasing security threats globally and in Ethiopia.

But observers say the law is aimed at further limiting freedom of expression and the flow of information in the nation of 85 million people.

In the last five years websites and blogs critical of the government have been frequently blocked and all Amharic language broadcasts targeting Ethiopia jammed.
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Just ridiculous - these morons have really gone off the deep end :eek:hno:
We really hav a dushbag leadership in ethiopia !!!
Stupid move, this shows that the telecommunication business is far from getting privatized.
We really hav a dushbag leadership in ethiopia !!!
So clearly you're not Ahadu. Only problem is, the spelling errors make me think this could be my mother! :lol:

This is ridiculous!
Apparently Blackberry BBM (Blackberry instant text messenger) is also illegal in Ethiopia. The government allowed BBM during the World Economic Forum summit and then turned it off afterwards.

The reasons behind the ban were a cause for debate online. Reportedly, two explanations were national security and a concern that Skype was hurting the state-owned telecommunications carrier.

Government protecting of the telecommunications industry is not a new tactic. One Ethiopian sought asylum in the United Kingdom after the government accused him of using Skype to run an illegal competing phone service.

Some have also noted a recent media workshop was held in Addis Ababa with the cooperation of the Chinese Communist Party. Users have been quick to point out that China has been known for restricting VOIP services.

Al Jazeera
Swedish carriers are planning to charge extra for VOIP services, since they are loosing so much revenue with all of these free phone call services. But that's obviously a better strategy than just blocking it all together. I guess it requires some technology in which ETC currently doesn't have.
Next in line: Social networks like facebook...etc and YouTube...
That's how dictators operate!
That is not good, and is a step in the wrong direction. Is the government afraid of the freedom of communication?
Government denies banning voice-over services

The Office for Government Communication Affairs on Friday slammed recent reports regarding the new draft law that bans Skype, Google Talk and other uses of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services. The deputy head of the office, Shimelis Kemal, told reporters: “We have not adopted a legislation that prevents people from using internet. You can skype as much as you want.”

“Internet-based voice service has been allowed. But the main objectives of the law is just preventing illegal activities that hinder the telecommunication service and controlling any cheating,” Shimelis said.

He also indicated that the draft bill prevents illegal use of internet phone as some people are making international calls with domestic charge.

Since last week several media outlets across the world were propagating that Ethiopia has banned Skype, Google Talk and other use of VoIP services that offer audio and video related communications.

Last month parliament discussed a new draft bill which has not been yet adopted as law, which it says is necessary for national security reason.
According to the draft bill, anyone who uses internet phone illegally is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Many people prefer to use internet-based phone calls than telephone calls because they are far cheaper.
i think this law is for some internet cafe who make internet phone call for the puplic.
It seems like the international media takes any blog post and blows it out of proportion.
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