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A Skype call in Ethiopia will now get you 15 years in prison

A Skype call in Ethiopia will now get you 15 years in prison

A 30-second call using Skype in Ethiopia can land you a 15-year prison sentence, thanks to new legislation passed by the country’s government.

The new legislation will criminalize the use of all Voice Over IP (VoIP) services, such Skype or Google Voice, from within the country, according to an Al Jazeera report. The legislation, which was voted into law last month with little notice from international media, seems to close a loop hole allowing some of its citizens to communicate without being monitored by authorities.

The country’s sole communication infrastructure is operated by a government-run telecom Ethio Teleco. The new legislation empowers the state-owned telecom to not only prohibit the use of VoIP services, but also video chatting, social media communication, e-mail usage, and any other data transfer service capable of communicating information. So basically, that encompass pretty much all communication except for speaking aloud, and talking within your own mind.

The law also gives the government the right to inspect any imported of voice communication equipment as well as the power to ban any inbound packages that don’t have prior permission from the state, according to the Al Jazeera report.

Anyone in the country that uses an illegal phone service will face up to 15 years in jail and heavy fines. Making a phone call over the Internet is a no more reasonable punishment of 3 to 8 years in prison plus fines. Essentially, I don’t think the majority of the Ethiopian people will risk it, considering every facet of connected technology is so heavily monitored. This is especially true because Ethio Teleco recently installed a  system for blocking access to the Tor network that users browse anonymously and access blocked websites, according to Reporters Without Boarders.  Read More

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About Rant4u

A Revolution in Social Networking

Posted on June 14, 2012, in #social media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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