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Ethiopia Criminalizes VoIP Services 255

An anonymous reader writes "The Ethiopian government has passed legislation criminalizing the use of VoIP services like Skype and Google Talk. Anyone using these services within the country now faces up to 15 years in prison. 'Ethiopian authorities argue that they imposed these bans because of "national security concerns" and to protect the state's telecommunications monopoly. The country only has one ISP, the state-owned Ethio Telecom, and has been filtering its citizen's Internet access for quite some time now to suppress opposition blogs and other news outlets. ... Reporters Without Borders also reports that Ethio Telecom installed a system to block access to the Tor network, which allows users to surf the Web anonymously. The organization notes that the ISP must be using relatively sophisticated Deep Packet Inspection to filter out this traffic.'"
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Ethiopia Criminalizes VoIP Services

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  • Re:Devolution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15, 2012 @11:05AM (#40335113)

    There is no such thing devolution, only evolution in a direction you don't like.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15, 2012 @11:12AM (#40335191)

    "The organization notes that the ISP must be using relatively sophisticated Deep Packet Inspection to filter out this traffic."

    There is zero reason people *need* to use DPI to block Tor Traffic. You simply run compatible Tor connectivity software (i.e. The Tor Client) and create a list of those users who can accept communications with you--compare the nodes on that list with nodes that are within your networks; done.

  • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @11:28AM (#40335475) Homepage

    Wikipedia > Internet censorship by country > Pervasive censorship (the highest level) in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and of course, Iran. []

  • every city in the world has a police force. in some cities the police force is corrupt and inefficient. in other cities, there's still corruption, but policing is efficient and they do their best to root out the corruption

    but because you can find corruption in any police force, let's go after the very idea of police itself as unnecessary and essentially wrong

    or: because they found one corrupt cop out of a mostly good police force in city X, no one in city X can criticize the completely corrupt police in city Y

    do you understand the failure in logic here?

    good, now you understand your own failure

    the usa finds some internet usage objectionable and looks for it

    ethiopia finds some internet usage objectionable and looks for it

    WHAT do they find objectionable?

    kiddie porn? or political expression?

    criticize based on THAT, not the fact that governments, all of them, look at the packets on their networks, and always will, and oftentimes, for good reasons

    if this concept bothers you, you have a problem with the reality of the world you live in

  • No, and... (Score:5, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @12:25PM (#40336141)
    Not only is this not the first case, but it is a problem that the Tor developers have been addressing for some time. There are two techniques that are known to be used to block Tor:
    1. Blocking all entry nodes; China, for example, does this. Bridge nodes mitigate this problem, but a determined government like the Chinese government can compile a list of all bridge nodes, and block those too.
    2. Distinguishing Tor from an HTTPS connection; this is a more technically advanced method that is favored by governments that lack the resources to compile lists of bridges. Since Tor has a unique pattern of TLS connections, it can be identified and blocked by a national firewall; fixing this problem is an ongoing effort (the goal is to make Tor look like Firefox).
  • Re:Devolution (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @01:21PM (#40336885)

    Best post yet.
    Yelling at people on a forum that you choose to visit about how they are all fucked for posting the way everyone in this forum does.
    Getting all bent out of shape on purpose all the while yelling that we should all have better shit to do.
    You are priceless.

  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:23PM (#40337509) Journal

    A friend of mine was doing development work in Ethiopia and Somaliland back in the 90s. He's Dutch, and his wife's Somali, and he often worked from Addis Ababa, the capital. At one point he was having a phone call, and the phone operator came on and told him to stop speaking Dutch - speak English, Italian, Arabic, Amharic, or one of the other local languages the police could understand. We talked about whether he should use PGP, but he decided it would just give the police more of an excuse to "confiscate" his PCs, which they'd been wanting to steal anyway.

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone