and similar activities are not banned in Ethiopia. There is no law that
prohibits or restricts their utilization here in Ethiopia. Nor does the
[draft] law aim to prevent IP-relatedethio telecom internet activities,
that is cyber activities like social media, Twitter, etc.”, said a
senior Ethiopian official in a phone interview. The remark was made in
reference to the draft Telecom Fraud Offences proclamation, which was
tabled in the parliament, on May 24, for first reading and referred to
the relevant Standing Committee, for review.ENA
Addis Ababa June 22/2012 The Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) refuted reports of some western media saying the Ethiopian government has banned Skype and VoIP related services.
In a press conference he gave here on Friday, GCAO State Minister Shimeles Kemal said the recent draft proclamation issued by the council of ministers does not prohibit such services.
He said the draft proclamation is aimed at regulating cyber related crimes particularly telecom crimes and offences in the country.
The Minister said the objective of the proclamation is to discourage and prevent illicit and criminal activities carried out through bypassing the domestic telecom service and thereby providing unlawful international calls.
It focuses on a number of telecom related offences such as tampering and duplicating SIM cards and credit cards to gain illegal revenue.
He said the prime target of the proclamation is to reduce the possibilities of defrauding the government’s lawful revenue earning through taxation. Callback services, which bypass the national telecom system would cause a substantial financial damage to the national telecommunication service.
According to Shimeles, the law primarily aims at preventing such illicit activities rather than prohibiting personal uses of the services.
The council has also recently approved a draft legislation to regulate the advertisement business in the country, Shimeles said.
As the Ethiopian media regulatory framework lacks regulation mechanism regarding the advertisement business, the draft legislation will help to govern the industry.
The legislation will protect consumers from false and misleading advertisement, regulate and ensure the practice of fair trade among the business community and provide a clear system of accountability.
Regarding the recent attacks occurred in Gambella State, he said 14 members of the group, which attacked innocent civilians and put under control by the South Sudanese army, have been extradited to Ethiopia as per the criminal extradition agreement between the two countries.
The criminal group, which recently attacked a public transport in Gambella State, had killed 19 innocent civilians.
Members of this criminal group had also participated in the killing of workers of Saudi Star Agricultural Business Group engaged in agriculture.
Members of the group had fled to the border of South Sudan to escape from the command post established by the Ethiopian government to put them under control.
During a clash between members of the group and South Sudan forces, two Southern Sudanese armed forces and several members of the group were killed, and 14 of them are put under control.
He said investigation has commenced to bring the culprits to justice.
is no law that prohibits or restricts their utilization here in
Ethiopia. Nor does the [draft] law aim to prevent IP-related internet
activities, that is cyber activities like social media, Twitter, etc,"
noted the office in the press statement.
"The [draft] law aims to
restrict internet telephone activities, not between telecom activities
from computer to computer, but it aims to restrict unlicensed service
providers who use internet to provide telephone services from internet
to telephone lines. The aim of the regulation is not aimed at
restricting IP and cyber activities. Nor did it intend to restrict
computer to computer services."
The draft law intends to prevent
telecom fraud activities as provided by IP use regulations and treaties.
For instance call back. Fraudulent call back services that are aimed at
bypassing national services are prohibited here. People who wish to
generate income through bypassing telecom server will be held
accountable through the use of software and hardware that are employed
to circumvent the Ip protocol and other restrictions without getting
permission will be held accountable according to the new law.