Friday, 6 July 2012

Ethiopia: penal provisions for VoIP users

Via a Talal Abu-Ghazelah news bulletin comes some disturbing information from Ethiopia. According to the text:
"The Ethiopian authorities have passed a new law criminalizing people using voice communications and technology through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), including “Skype’ and “Google Voice”, where the authorities installed specific tools for the purpose of filtering and cutting connections through such applications.

Reporters without Borders Organization declared in its recent issued report that the authorities justified banning such applications for the sake of social security causes. While the visual-vocal communications conducted through the Internet are considered a threat that monopolizes the country’s communications, according to the Arab Gate of Technical News.

The law also states that whoever uses the VoIP techniques shall be imprisoned from three to eight years, while whoever uses applications to conduct the communications through the Internet, such as “Skype”, shall be imprisoned for a period of time reaching 15 years, according to the African Review website.

The Law offers for the Ethiopian authorities full control over communication tools as the authorities are concerned about Skype in specific as it is hard to control or censor its connections.

Ethiopia is considered one of the countries that has restrictions controlling the Internet, as it asks the Internet cafes to keep the names of their customers written down so as to chase the opponents of the governmental regime".
At a time when consumers and internet users in some other parts of the world are arguing against threats to their ability to share files without authorisation of copyright owners and the possible reduction of the speed of their internet connections, the position of internet users in Ethiopia sets these problems in stark perspective.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

This is terrible. All countries should be embracing this technology and letting their citizens choose any voip provider they like.