29 September 2009
Russia wants to ban Skype
Russia seems to have joined the list of countries who feel that they can prevent or curtail use of the Skype telephone service. The usual pretext is national security, but the true reason is more likely that the local telephone operators can't stand the heat and want protection from the competition.
Mexico tried to ban Skype a few years ago, but gave up when she realised just how daunting the task was. China seems to be about the only country that has had limited success, largely because of the deal that was struck between Skype and a Chinese local partner. The software that Chinese users download allows the Peking regime to read text messages sent through the system, but whether they can access actual telephone calls is unclear. In any event, all that an on-the-ball Chinaman has to do is download the international version of the Skype software and his problems are solved.
The chances of the ramshackle mess that is Russia today being able to do even what the Chinese have managed is about nil, this writer reckons. Score one for the internet is the obvious conclusion.