Israel blocks VoIP

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Israel blocks VoIP

According to Globes Online, Israel's regulatory agency (Ministry of Communications) is planning on ordering ISPs to block international calls carried over VoIP which terminates on the PSTN. P2P VoIP such as Skype-to-Skype calls are exempt from this ruling. According to Globes Online, the article states, "VoIP is taking revenue away from international calls carriers and is pushing down prices." Yup. Uh huh. You betcha! So, um what you're saying is VoIP is lowering prices for the consumer, so what's the problem? Also in the article it quotes Ministry of Communications director general Avi Balashnikov as saying "this activity (VoIP) seriously harmed licensed international calls carriers."

So I guess Israel, which boasts the pioneer of VoIP (namely the Israel-based VocalTec - now defunct - which created the VocalTec Internet Phone application) and who has some of the best high-tech companies in the world has turned from their strong technology roots in favor of regulation that favors old-tech incumbents? :(

And just how are the Israeli ISPs going to know if the call terminates on the PSTN? This is ridiculously unenforceable. VoIP is simply data travelling to an IP address. Unless the ISPs map every single IP address owned by the Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs), there's no way they can block Israeli citizens from making international VoIP calls that terminate say on BroadVoice's network. Besides, someone will probably just setup anonymous proxy servers which will change the destination IP address - so good luck simply blocking the IP addresses of the major ITSPs! So when Israel figures out they can't block international VoIP calls, what's next? Arrest any citizen making international VoIP calls? Firing squad? Yes, I jest, but I would expect this kind of blocking crap from China not from Israel.

Surely, the democratic people of Israel will stand up to this blocking outrage without fear of retribution. What say you O' Israel?

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