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What if they ban Skype / VoIP ?!
There are some understandable reasons why some governments, corporations, and large organisations would seek to ban VoIP, Skype, and Internet Telephony in general. Some of the reasons are a bit iffy, but there are also some legitimate concerns. The reasons are less simplistic than they initially appear. Also, there are some possible solutions.
For one thing, some governments don't like people to be able to talk to each other without their spies being able to listen in on them. Authorities like to control the media and keep tabs on what is being said. They'd have banned the Internet, and programmable computers, if they could have got away with it.
Some countries have monopoly telecommunications companies whose tight control is severely upset by the introduction of Skype and other types of VoIP. If phone calls are free, it deprives these huge telecoms monopolies of revenue which they need to prop up their traditional systems.
Some corporations don't like Skype either, as it means their employees might be nattering on the phone when they should be hard at work!
VoIP of various types tends to eat up bandwidth, but Skype is especially a problem in this. Allowing Skype is a bit like doing someone a favour of granting them a footpath right across your land, and then they use this as an excuse to put a four lane highway across it and divert all the traffic through when it suits their convenience so to do.
I have even heard of some otherwise quite enlightened organisations eventually banning Skype because they feared the government might make them responsible for recording all the phone calls.
Universities have been known to get a bit picky about this kind of thing as they think it's not a right and proper use of academic resources.
In some ways, a company or organisation has a reasonable right to have a say in what goes on in its premises. However, an ISP shouldn't really try to govern what is being put over its network, provided it's not hazardous. So, if your ISP bans Skype, you might wish to consider moving to a different ISP! Many Internet Service Providers are happy for you to talk over your VoIP provided the bandwidth is kept within reasonable limits.
Network controllers with enough technical knowhow CAN ban Skype, although it is less easy than it first appears as Skype uses a variety of interesting techniques to get around VoIP blocking methods!
We might be able to justify an organisation in trying to limit the extent to which its resources are misused. However, it's less easy to justify governments and their pet telecoms monopoly companies forcing you to pay for old-style phone calls when technology has already surpassed that level. We're also keen to allow freedom of speech and to avoid authoritarian systems controlling and censoring what can be said and how it can be said. There should be Freedom on the Internet
Thinking about this, and in consideration of the fact that most of the reasons for systems wanting to ban voice over Internet protocol are towards the less enlightened end of the scale, what are we going to do about it? Well, assuming they're not going to ban the Internet, web, or e-mail, here's a possible solution:
Thinking about this, and in consideration of the fact that most of the reasons for systems wanting to ban voice over Internet protocol are towards the less enlightened end of the scale, what are we going to do about it? Well, assuming they're not going to ban the Internet, web, or e-mail, here's a possible solution: We write a Linux program which allows you to record your voice with a microphone and then encodes the sound sample as an mp3 or Ogg Vorbis file. Then you press a button a bit like on a walkie-talkie and the computer program sends the compressed sound sample file by fast e-mail to the person on the other end of the line. Their computer running the same program receives the e-mail, opens the file, and plays it. Then they reply by a similar method and you hear what they have to say. And so on.
This solution is less than ideal, because there's going to be a delay and it's one way at a time. It's a bit like radio hams in space. However it is still speech communication across vast distances, and it's free, and we can surely get used to talking one at a time and letting the other person reply rather than insisting on being able to talk over one-another.
Meanwhile, see existing providers of VoIP