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Ethiopian Government Denies Banning Skype 42

An anonymous reader writes "Last week, we read that Ethiopia banned using VoIP. According to the head of Communication Affairs the draft bill aims to discourage illegal use of internet telephony, not any VoIP calls made PC-to-PC or PC-to-phone. He also indicated that the draft bill prevents illegal use of internet phone as some people are making international calls with domestic charge." The distinctions here seem finer than I'd like (“We have not adopted a legislation that prevents people from using internet."), since what's legal seems unduly arbitrary, and since the draconian punishment proposed still stands: "According to the draft bill, anyone who uses internet phone illegally is punishable by up to 15 years in prison."
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Ethiopian Government Denies Banning Skype

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  • And I should know, I wrote it. Chapter 9 (Media) goes into extensive detail on how to clamp down on the media, route communications through state systems through which you can monitor and track. Chapter 10 (International Community) goes into how to do one thing while stating the other; how to befuddle the donors and international oversight committees, and so on.

    The point is, what Ethiopia is doing, and Eritrea too by the way, is nothing new. Nor is it specific to Africa. Belarus, Iran, China, Thailand, and a lot of other countries are capitalizing on state infrastructure to control communications. Have a look at []

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein