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China gives Skype two year sentence for reckless telco endangerment

Ryan Block, @ryan

China's got some businesses to protect -- landline phone businesses, that is -- and it sounds like no Skype VoIP licenses (enabling, for example, SkypeOut calling) are to be issued for another two years over there per government intervention. That's bad, but what's worse is apparently China Telecom's declared the software "illegal" (we assume that claim carries over to other VoIP software, too -- and isn't law) and the government's experimenting with ways to entirely restrict Skype usage as they see fit (which is a little more difficult than flipping a switch on the Great Firewall, being that Skype runs on standard HTTP / HTTPS ports). Sure, VoIP is disruptive, and we all know it'd be best to let the carriers sort it out in the marketplace, but damned if this isn't one of the more visible hands, so to speak, that we've seen in a while.

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