Target Skype?



VOIP technology has been targetted for blocking in the past, mostly for economic reasons. Countries, such as Costa Rica are considering placing controls on VOIP. Generally, this is done by blocking the ports associated with the service. But now websites that provide software used to make phone calls over the Internet are being targetted for filtering. There have been reports about the filtering of Skype in China and confirmation of blocking in UAE and Oman. When asked about the filtering Omantel stated:

“We use a third-party company to filter out offensive sites, such as those containing pornography,” the source explained. “However sometimes the company’s database does block some sites that it shouldn’t. Skype.com is one example. We have ordered the company to open this site back up, and it should be live again anytime now.”

What’s interesting about this is that both UAE and Omantel use Smartfilter. However, Smartfilter categorizes www.skype.com as “Web Phone”, a category that Omantel would have had to specifically activate. Omantel’s explanation seems a bit suspect to me.

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