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    A Skype Call in Ethiopia Could Land You in Jail

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    A Skype Call in Ethiopia Could Land You in Jail - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.

    Thinking about making a casual skype call? You'd have to think twice before doing that in Ethiopia.

    Ethiopian officials have passed a new law, which makes the use of voice over internet protocol services like Skype illegal, punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment.

    The government claimed the ban was the result of national security efforts and the threat that internet communications posed to the state owned telephone company. According to Reporters without Borders, “The new law also gives the ministry of communications and information technology the power to supervise and issue licenses to all privately-owned companies that import equipment used for the communication of information.” This comes after the country’s only internet service provider, which is also state owned, installed a system that blocked the use of private browser network Tor, that allows users to access blocked websites and not be tracked by the state’s ISP.

    Similar measures have been reportedly taken in Morocco, blocking the Skype program from being downloaded and used by its citizens. About 20 to 30 percent of internet users in Iran have been using Virtual Private Networks, or proxy internet protocol to circumvent the government censorship of certain websites and services. Iran’s former president quoted as saying, "People cannot be stopped in their pursuit of information.”