19 October, 2006

Scandalous Skype

HERE is a pretty in-depth associated press article on the Skype/VoIP block in the UAE.

Worth reading, in particular for this quote...
"People don't understand the harm of a provider that has no obligations to this country," said Mohammed Ghuaith, director of technology for the Emirates Telecommunication Regulatory Authority. "Are the conversations secure? Are they being recorded? Will they steal information? Will they sell it? These are the things we need to look at."


Anonymous said...


Keefieboy said...

Are the conversations secure? Are they being recorded? Will they steal information? Will they sell it? These are the things we need to look at. Is he talking about Skype or Etisalat?

Anonymous said...

why the fear? why the skeptiscim(!?)

poo said...

Etisalad likes to spread FUD

secretdubai said...

"Are the conversations secure? Are they being recorded?

Considering they have tapped the phones of dozens of journalists I know at various times, including (I suspect) my mobile at one stage, I feel a fkload safer using Skype.

Seabee said...

Typically bizarre comments that aren't worth listening to.

But it's an unbelievably shortsighted policy in relation to Dubai's economic plan. The complaints are always about the cost of expats calling home, but the real problem is the effect on the businesses that are critical if the whole grandiose plan isn't to implode.

The last quote in the article summed it up: "If the foreign companies Dubai wants to lure here can't use cheap communications tools, that cuts into Dubai's competitiveness on the international stage," Chesman said.

I do believe H.H. Gen. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President & Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai might need to spend a moment or two on this - it's his plan that's being undermined after all.

fellow atheist said...

Reading the quote and assuming that this is the main priority for the TRA, it appears to me as though the main issue is their ability to tap phones.
So, what is the problem? Perhaps Skype and others need to start talking to governments and provide options for being able to spy on in phone conversations originating from the UAE. Perhaps even those going into the UAE.

I understand that this may not be the 'nice' thing to say, but let us be pragmatic about things. The government is going to do whatever it can to prevent people from being able spy on communication. The likelihood of this policy changing in the near future is very unlikely.

So, what is the next best thing? Is to let companies like Skype provide assurances that the government can continue implementing its own internal policies.

We get cheaper rates and the government does what it wants to do. Regardless of what you may think, you already make phone calls that could have more people than you have bargained for, listening in. We're all used to it. Whether we are happy about it or not, is not the issue right this moment. So we have to forget about that for a moment.

Has anyone been made aware of any such discussions between Skype and the TRA for instance?

poo said...

SD you can always use this for all those super secret phonecalls. The downside is it only works with certain Nokia models and both parties need to have it.

I have tested this product while using a scanner. The call was encrypted.

Anonymous said...

"Considering they have tapped the phones of dozens of journalists I know" they should do that for the safety of the country, just like the U.S, Britain does to us while we're there.
Etisalat is from the UAE so we can always argue that you are tapped because of your constant whining and we worry that you might do something as crazy as your self.

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