June 20, 2012
Ethiopia's new bill which criminalizes the use of VoIP services such as Skype
According to the BBC, users in Ethiopia face up to 15 years in jail if they use Skype or similar internet call services.
Netizens are especially furious over the country’s state owned Ethio-Telecom, which proposed the new bill in May and went mostly unnoticed around the world until now. Meles Zenawi's government claims that the new bill is meant to prevent external security threats.
According to Al Jazeera via 2OceansVibe, there seems to have been a perceived threat to national security, and a concern that Skype was hurting the state-owned, and sole, telecommunications carrier, Ethio Teleco.
Basically, the new legislation empowers the state-owned telecom to prohibit the use of VoIP services, video chatting, social media, e-mail, and any other data transfer service capable of communicating information.
The law will also give the government the right to examine any imported voice communication equipment.
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