Ethiopian Telecom law affirms Skype’s legality

July 13, 2012

The House approved the new law after the consideration of the draft by the Committee. The new legislation voids the previous prohibition on private use of VOIP services under the 2002 Telecom legislation which included Skype and Google Talk. It does, however, prohibit the provision of telecom operator services without a permit.

In recent weeks the government has clarified the confusion that arose over the draft law after mistaken reports that it was intended to criminalize the private use of Skype and other VOIP services.

Shimelis Kemal, Government Communications Affairs Office State Minister, made it clear that the use of VOIP, including Skype and Google Talk and similar services was not banned and the proposed law was aimed at controlling service providers that operate illegally to generate revenues through these services.