Israel not blocking VoIP

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Tom Keating
CTO
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Israel not blocking VoIP

Israel may not be blocking after all. My blog yesterday and Jeff's blog today at 12:13am about Israel blocking VoIP got the attention of Yair Hakak, regulatory economist with the Israel Ministry of Communciations.

Here are portions of the email I received at 1:45am last night. The good news is it appears there was some miscommunication by the Ministy of Communications - how ironic.

Hello,
I am Yair Hakak, regulatory economist with the Israel Ministry of Communciations. Here is a copy of a letter I sent Jeff Pulver about our VOIP regulatory policy. In short, a tempest in a teacup, and we are certainly not going to block or filter traffic in any way. Our orders to the ISP were about very specific piratical activities, and not in any way addressed to VoIP endusers.

Sincerely,
Yair Hakak
Economist and Budget division, Israel Ministry of Communications

Hi Jeff,
it ain't so.
ISP's were sent a letter requiring them not to sell high-speed data lines to pirate companies that terminate here on grey routes, either through bezeq or "tellulars" to the GSM network. no one was required to block voip, or filter traffic, or anything like that. I can reiterate that we are strongly committed to net freedom, that we consider it one of our most important regulatory roles to make sure that internet service providers and infrastructure providers do not filter traffic, interfere in any way with various uses, or attempt to monitor their customers use of the public internet. We also know such an attempt is doomed to failure, in addition to being morally indefensible.

There is no intention to block or filter any form of pc-to-pc voip, nor are we going to require packet sniffing against people in Israel with vonage boxes.

Additionally, there are currently more than 10,000 voip lines in Israel supplied by licensed providers under a market experiment scheme (including local numbers and officially sanctioned interconnect), and we are currently working on giving these licensed providers permanent licenses to allow them to develop further.

I hope i've cleared this up, it was a bureaucratic issue and not a policy one.

Yair Hakak



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