Totalitarianism in Ethiopia

(via Reddit) The Ethiopian government has passed legislation banning use of VoIP services like Skype and Google Talk, according to TechCrunch.com.  This appears to be another step in the ongoing effort of the Ethiopian government to choke out internet access to its citizens -- the country's only ISP, Ethio Telecom, already has blocks in place preventing its users from using Tor, a network designed to allow anonymous freedom of speech by concealing the origin of web use.

VentureBeat.com writes:

The new legislation empowers the state-owned telecom to prohibit the use not only of VoIP services, but also of video chatting, social media, e-mail, and any other data transfer service capable of communicating information.[...]

The law also gives the government the right to inspect any imported voice communication equipment as well as the power to ban any inbound packages that don’t have prior permission from the state, according to the Al Jazeera report. [link]

Under the new law, using Skype could get you up to 15 years in prison.