Ethiopia: Skype me maybe
Ethiopia: Skype me maybeEthiopia's communications crackdown targets Skype.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is seen at his offices in the capital, Addis Ababa, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Les Nauheus)
CORRECTION: Ethiopia's Telecom Fraud Offense bill has not been passed and is still in draft stage. According to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the bill does not target individuals, but businesses using VoIP services to bypass the state-run telecommunications provider. The following article has been amended to reflect this.
A draft law in Ethiopia seeks to criminalise the use of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services such as Skype for commercial use. Violators could face up to 15 years of jail time.
However, some activists believe the draft's language could be broadly interpreted to prosecute government dissenters. We discussed these issues in a recent episode.
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