VoIP Business and Virtual PBX

Going to Ethiopia? If you use Skype

The Ethiopian government last month passed a law making it a crime for people to utilize audio or video communication using Voice-over-Internet-Protocol services, which include Google Voice, Skype and in essence any other video chat service available.

Ethiopia has a track record for censoring the communication activities of its journalists and citizens. And Skype is a more difficult form of communication to intercept than regular phone calls, according to the BBC.

The country says the law is needed for national security and as well to protect its monopoly of telephone communications, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The cost of Ethiopia telecom

"Internet cafes may be allowing people to make calls for far less than the cost of Ethiopia telecom, the state's telecommunications provider that has the monopoly and charges very high prices -- and doesn't want to have its service undermined," former BBC Ethiopia correspondent Elizabeth Blunt told the BBC.

The Internet in Ethiopia is very limited as far as access and speed. PCMag points out that only 360,000 people in the country have access to the Web, or just 0.4% of Ethiopia's population of 82 million. Even in Addis Ababa, the country's capital, Internet access is slow and unreliable.

Perhaps Ethiopia will change its stance on Skype and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)s in general 15 years from now -- which should be right around the time the first wave of Skype criminals would be getting released.

More information: Latimes
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    Bbc Ethiopia Voip