Ethiopia Will Lock You Up For 15 Years If You Use Skype

By Sam Gibbs on at

Using VoIP services such as Skype is now against the law in Ethiopia. In fact, those who continue to use Skype face up to 15 years in the slammer, just for making a free call. What the hell?

The law was apparently passed to help protect Ethiopian national security. Okay, I buy that VoIP calls are much, much harder to trace, and so I guess you could say they pose a security risk, maybe. But locking people up for using Skype? Really?

What's more, anything that's capable of carrying out the "communication of information" (that's basically everything electronic) has to be licenced by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. I have a feeling that'll be quite an expensive licence too, some how.

As The Register points out, there's a government-owned telecoms company in Ethiopia. It smacks to me that all this bluster is just about protecting revenue and forcing people to stick to regular phone calls. And there you thought we had it bad with SOPA, ACTA and other brilliant bits of government legislation. [Tech Central via The Register]

Image credit: Jail and VoIP from Shutterstock