Feeds

Panama bans voice over IP

Stick IT (Internet telephony) up your junta!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Developing nations have pushed through programmes to curtail Internet telephony, in moves designed to protect the revenues of incumbent telecoms operators.

The government of Panama has ordered ISPs to block 24 UDP ports in order to implement its ban on VoIP (voice over IP) services, Linux Admin (which broke the story earlier this month) reports. This blanket ban would frustrate corporate use of IP telephone and curtail its use where telcos only transit VoIP traffic through the central American country.

Under the proposals, this traffic would also be blocked when it hit a Panamanian router or firewall.

The decree apparently stems from complaints by Cable & Wireless Panama, the incumbent operator, which says it is "losing money due to users employing the Internet to make otherwise expensive international telephone calls", Linux Admin reports.

Cable & Wireless Panama is a joint venture between the Panamanian government and London-based international telecom operator Cable & Wireless. Cable & Wireless said the decision to curtail VoIP services was made by local regulators who are trying to curtail services from unlicensed operators. It added that C&W offers Internet telephony services to businesses in other countries, where the technology is legally approved.

UDP blocked by Panama's October 25 decree include: 1034, 1035, 2090, 2091, 5000, 6801, 6802, 6803, 9900, 9901, 12080, 12120, 12122, 22555, 26133, 30582, 35061, 38000, 38100, 38200, 47563, 48310, 51200, and 51201. There's scope to extend the ban, which already has the potential to disrupt numerous other services (including Telnet and others too numerous to list here).

The decree seems to be very badly thought out. Panamanian ISPs, to their credit, are protesting that the whole scheme is unworkable.

Panama is far from the only country clamping down on VoIP services. CNet reports that an April 2002 study by the Boston University School of Law Review found that Argentina, Cuba, Egypt, Israel, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa also have measures in place to curtail use of the technology.

After a painfully slow gestation, IP telephony services are poised to grow across the world - at least in places where they aren't banned.

Analysts Frost & Sullivan forecasts VoIP traffic in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will reach 57 billion minutes by 2008. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.