Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Using Skype in Uganda

I have always thought that I would be sufficiently computer literate to solve all computer challenges that I encounter. However, I had been disappointed when I could not install and run Skype properly. It was just not possible to sign-up. Thus, I did it at my brother in law’s home, but still it was not possible to set up a connection, when I was back in Uganda.

Yesterday, I learnt why it has not been possible in Uganda. There are some internet service providers which obey the current laws and those prohibit the use of Voice-over-IP (i.e. the underlying technology of Skype)… But fortunately the law is supposed to be changed in July.

Until then, most internet service provider block access to Skype. I wonder, what would happen if the respective Ministry/Council would know about this possibility. Would they block access to certain other content, which might harm the moral of the Ugandan people? Since the Ugandan government is good friends with the Chinese, they probably already know about all those scary technical possibilities.[1]

I was reliefed because I thought, I was too stupid to install a simple program, plug in speakers and turn on the microphone… I mean, come on, the most challenging part – to install the program and to sign up with Skype – was designed for Americans, too[2] :->





[1] I am also wondering, whether everything I type is monitored. It is possible to log all keystrokes, sites visited etc. – I am aware of the fact that I am a completely transparent user. If others want to know anything about me, they will find all they need online. Isn’t that scary…

[2] Actually, it was my 63years old American colleague who conviced me to use Skype…

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