Third World VoIP blocking has the stench of corruption

Namibia is the latest nation to go absolutely convulsive over the prospect of some of its citizens bypassing the local phone monopoly by selling and using VoIP. Five people have been busted.

Namibia is the latest nation to go absolutely convulsive over the prospect of some of its citizens bypassing the local phone monopoly by selling and using VoIP. Five people have been busted. Mike at TechDirt has the story.

Then, as Mike also points out, there was a bust two years ago in Belarus, and there's an outright prohibition in Bangladesh.

It is important to note that the 2005 International Transparency Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Bangladesh tied with Chad as the most corrupt nation in the world. Belarus finished poorly as well.

Then you have other VoIP blocking nations such as the United Arab Emirates and even South Korea.

Although there is no smoking gun, most of these nations have phone monopolies and a small, autocratic upper economic class with a handful of oligarchs accustomed to practicing extraordinarily cordial relations with ruling authorities.

Could it be that established economic and political players in these nations have a financial relationship? Could this relationship include kickbacks, commissions, and skims? And might it be that VoIP is considered a dangerous and distruptive force against this, uh, "way of doing things?"

Plainly put, do I smell the stench of corruption?

An even more overt corruption than the "First World" lobbying and campaign contribution efforts against net neutrality practiced in the U.S. by entrenched industry players with political interests?