I can confirm that I was able to access the Skype.com domain again this morning. The story of the TRC’s attempted ban of Skype today made it to the Jordan Times, who ran a big story on the matter on page 2 (pasted in full below).
UNBELIEVABLY, the TRC is insisting on the security/terrorist threat issue. They say that the security issue has now been ‘resolved’ and that why the service is back in Jordan.
The TRC should have a lot of explaining to do if they want to insist on the security claim. Here’s why:
* During the ‘ban’ the service continued to be available, at least for me as a Wanadoo user. It was just the site that was inaccessible. What kind of a security ban was that?? * If security was really the matter, why weren’t other services blocked? Or is it just Skype that has security issues AND is being used by outlaws. * What exactly was the ‘encryption’ problem and how was it ‘resolved’.
As for our beloved ISPs, here’s some explaining they have to do?
* What do you fail to inform customers that interruptions to certain services are about to occur? * Did you or didn’t you know that the ‘ban’ was temporary? If you did know, why didn’t you customer service geniuses tell us?
Companies and organizations like the TRC should respect customers and citizens more. After all, we are paying them to serve us, not to sit in an ivory tower and hand down draconian ban orders (or whatever that whole fiasco was about).
I am glad this episode is over. But I suspect we have not seen the end of this issue.
Here’s the JT article from Friday 13, 2006:
Skype services back on track By Ramsey Tesdell
AMMAN â€” The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has decided to allow Skype services to resume a month after they were blocked.
Director of the commissionâ€™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.
Skype is a software programme that allows users to make cheap phone calls over the Internet using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, which has grown in popularity in recent years.
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 Wanado 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 Chinaâ€™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.
â€œJustification that it was blocked for security reasons is unfounded and absolute nonsense,â€ 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 â€œa reliable alternative to using regular phones or mobiles, and much more cost-effective.â€