Friday, October 13, 2006

Good news for the Jordan Skypers: Skype services back on track

AMMAN — The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has decided to allow Skype services to resume a month after they were blocked.

Director of the commission's regulatory department, Al Ansari Al Mashaqbah, confirmed yesterday that the recent decision to block Skype had been reversed. The official told The Jordan Times that the security issues, cited as the reason for the block, had been resolved.

The commission had sent a fax to all Internet service providers in the Kingdom on September 13 to notifiy them of the decision to block the use of Skype.Technical support representatives at Batelco and Wanadoo confirmed that they had received word from the commission ordering them to block the Skype website and that all Internet service providers in the country had been asked to abide by this new policy.

The fax said Skype had been blocked because of security reasons. The popular software programme uses an encryption method that came under attack recently. Technical support representatives at Wanado said the reasons Skype was being targeted was because of possible terrorist activity, and the inability to monitor Skype conversations.

A similar instance in China's Shenzhen Province saw Skype services blocked for a short time until it abided by local laws. China Telecom, which ordered it blocked, reversed its decision after security issues were resolved. Meanwhile, Skype users in the country reacted to the order to block VoIP services with dismay. David DeBartolo uses Skype to communicate with colleagues around the world while living in Amman.

DeBartolo, a Fulbright researcher with the Binational Fulbright Commission, was one of the first to discover that Skype services had been suspended. Upon contacting the commission, he received a response that Skype services had been blocked for security reasons.
"Justification that it was blocked for security reasons is unfounded and absolute nonsense," said Omar Qawas, a professional in the IT business, who has been using Skype for two years to stay in contact with friends and colleagues around the world. Qawas told The Jordan Times that Skype was "a reliable alternative to using regular phones or mobiles, and much more cost-effective."

The Jordan Times

1 comment:

  1. I have lived in Tunisia and worked a lot in countries of the same mediterranean region: Algeria, Jordan, Morroco, Lebanon, ...

    They (the Jordans) didn't resolve the "security issue", it is just their way of saying they were wrong or had to withdraw their decision!

    But the most important they withdrew their decision, like the Brazilians and others in the past.

    The weight of Skype customers gets too heavy! They should have tried to block Skype much earlier!