The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) is concerned about the growing popularity of Skype and internet telephony in Russia. The officials of the union say that, the rapid growth of this segment of the communications market is infringing the interests of Russian cellular operators, Gazeta.Ru reported.
"Infringing the interests" was clarified by Vitaly Kotov, Vice President of TTK, a telecoms unit of state-owned Russian Railways, who called on regulators to stop VoIP services from causing "a likely and uncontrolled fall in profits for the core telecom operators."
In addition to corporate interests, Skype is alleged to be a security risk for Russia, because it is not controlled by the state. VoIP applications like Skype are not connected to the SORM telephone conversation wiretapping system, and according to Vedomosti business daily on Friday, "Delegates at the meeting also warned that it has been impossible for police to spy on VoIP conversations".
Interestingly, authorities in Italy (according to a Russian News site) are voicing a similar concern, but with what sounds like an Open Source twist: "The encryption system used in this computer program is not being uncovered by a developer which strongly complicates the work of law-enforcement agencies." Are they just looking for the source code? Or are they looking for developer cooperation in making the crypto crackable? The likely Italian-to-Russian-to-English translation makes it hard for me to guess the answer.
One wonders how available Skype services are in Iran.
If you push the "extra ice" button on the soft drink vending machine, you won't get any ice. If you push the "no ice" button, you'll get ice, but no cup.