Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

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65 Replies - 5243 Views - Last Post: 19 June 2012 - 10:45 PM

#1 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:22 PM

*
POPULAR

http://venturebeat.c...-skype-illegal/

via reddit

Some excerpts:

Quote

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 as Skype or Google Voice, from within the country...The legislation, which was voted into law last month with little notice from international media, seems to close a loophole that was allowing some of its citizens to communicate without being monitored by authorities.

Anyone in the country who uses an illegal phone service will face up to 15 years in jail and heavy fines. Making a phone call over the Internet is punishable by 3 to 8 years in prison plus fines. Ethio Teleco also recently installed a system for blocking access to the Tor network that users browse anonymously and access blocked websites...

...However, African Review notes that observers are saying the law is instead aimed at limiting freedom of expression and the flow of information between the nation’s 85 million people.


Wow. That's pretty fascist.

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#2 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:31 PM

unfortunately I'm not sure anyone but the people of Ethiopia can do anything about it :/ the people need to decided weather or not they are going to stand for a government that attempts to control speech.
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#3 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:45 PM

... because never in the history of the world has anyone ever been killed by their government for standing against their government.
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:49 PM

bu..buh..but it worked in that vendetta movie!
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#5 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:51 PM

Things have to get worse before they'll get better. Of course people would die. But look at the "Arab Spring". Four countries managed to pull their leaders from power. Not without bloodshed, but they found it worth fighting for.

I have to say, you guys are being surprisingly cynical about it. I don't think ish meant that it would all be sunshine and happiness.
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#6 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:56 PM

oh no... someone striked out part of his text... I can't read it now. SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH!

We will rise against praise the fascist awesome DIC leaders!

This post has been edited by Curtis Rutland: 15 June 2012 - 02:02 PM
Reason for edit:: FASCIST DIC CENSORSHIP

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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:08 PM

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Only 360,000 people had Internet access in June 2009,

cite

That is 360,000 out of 82,949,541ish people. What's that - 0.434%?

Also they are just trying to get out of that 17-20 year war, right? Then there was that famine in the 80's. Then in recent history two of the worst droughts they've had. Something about such a low number of people affected versus more important things like surviving and rebuilding come to mind.

Hell doesn't their country still have 75% of their marriages because of it's cool to snatch up the bride by abduction? (Thank you random high school debate kid for sticking that fact in my brain a few years ago).

Their country blows and it sucks they were the butt of so many skinny jokes back in the day on the playground, but getting all riled up because their country has an iron grip on their telecos is not in it for the afternoon. Hell I think reddit's ban on specific websites for gaming their system affects more people.
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#8 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:44 PM

that's 360,000 people that are denied basic rights and another 82 million potential people that could be denied free speech. if you don't like Reddit then don't use it; it's not infringing on your free speech. if you don't like a country, your home, etc... it's not such a simple matter.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:50 PM

Potential people versus real people.. some people versus many people.. the point is they have larger rights issues than cheap skype phone calls.
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#10 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:54 PM

Ah, to that I suggest reading through the reddit thread I've linked. Many people are explaining that much of their situation is self-made, like the government actively discouraging agriculture so as to not jeopardize international aid money and shipments that are keeping those in power rich, and how the famine in the 80s was largely artificial and intentional. Also, the fact that this measure routes all communications directly through their governmental agency so that they can spy on it at will. Of course they have big problems, but that doesn't mean that basic human rights like privacy should be secondary concerns.
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#11 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:38 PM

Sure.. I was merely offering a plausibly explanation on my jaded apathy towards the whole topic.

In other news - 'marriage by abduction' could very well be a popular reality tv show on spiketv.
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#12 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:43 PM

Where the hell is Sally Struthers when you need her?!?!
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#13 trevster344  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:44 PM

Visited that country a few years ago.. beautiful place. What a shame. They'll figure it out. Of the places my vacation placed me in, it was the most friendly place. Russians weren't too nice in St. Petersburg.
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#14 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:10 PM

For only ten cents a day, you can sponsor this starving Ethiopian child's VOIP access. Call now.


Posted ImageWill you remember me...? Will you remember...Posted Image
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#15 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ethiopia criminalizes VoIP; crushes personal freedoms

Posted 16 June 2012 - 01:46 AM

Shit like this really makes me think that in the future, we will create systems that rigorously enforce justice that accords to logical rules and human nature, and that humans will not be at the controls or otherwise allowed to govern each other.

Oh, hi Hal!
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