back to article Oman cuffs 212 for selling VoIP calls

This year, police in the Arab nation of Oman have raided 121 internet cafes throughout the country and arrested 212 people for providing VoIP services, according to a local report. "Around 212 accused of various Asian nationalities have been arrested since the beginning of the year [until October 26]," a senior police officer …

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  1. Slimster
    FAIL

    Wasta

    Sounds like the big boots at Omantel are playing their Wasta card again and hitting the poorer workers trying to call home without being ripped off. It is only a matter of time before this restriction is removed. Meanwhile everyone who can afford their own computer uses VPN services to circumvent this restriction.

  2. raving angry loony

    not for me thanks.

    Wow, they take their monopolistic cartels seriously over there. Remind me never to visit.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just Oman

    Oman's not special. Other Middle Eastern countries also try to prevent anyone from using anything other than the state phone service, and therefore ban VOIP.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Not just Oman

    Agreed. On a recent trip to Dubai I wanted a 3G PAYG dongle - they wanted £150 for the dongle and £50 for the SIM. It was like being back in the nineties.

  5. Puck

    Mmm...democratic

    ...Not.

    Amazing how they enforce (what in th UK would be) minor civil telephony regs, using criminal legal instruments. Populism it ain't.

    Still I wish similarly booted and suited riot police had had a word or two with the Crazy Frog ringtone people back in the day, rather than ICSTIS, they of toothlessness renown.

  6. Tricky Dicky
    Black Helicopters

    Is it protectionism or

    is it something to do with the fact that VOIP is encrypted and they can't listen in.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Is it protectionism or #

    Bingo! The ROP take the risk of terrorism in the Sultanate very seriously..... Skype doesn't work there unless you establish a VPN connection back to the UK. As for jail terms, the law is reasonably clear (get caught running a red light, spend a night in a cell, get caught running VOIP services.... Worse).

    There isn't a monopoly as such there (the local telco has mobile competition).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Huh?

    "Obnoxious yer honor, they're creating a market for our services where we can't fix the prices. Burn them, burn them!" How about Oman just skipped that shit and entered the 20th century? The 21st may be too much to ask for...

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