People love using Skype to video chat with their family and friends, but in some countries, Skype and other video calling software can be limited or completely blocked. Why would those countries want to block these services and is there an alternative?
It can be frustrating if you can’t use the same software or apps you normally use in your home country. However, different countries have different policies that can influence the use of Skype or other video calling services.
Many blocks are profit-driven. Most countries in Central and South America block all VoIP (Voice over IP) and Skype because they have single providers that offer both internet and telephone services. Because Skype offers free video calls over the internet, some telcos lobby to have it blocked or block it themselves because they fear losing revenue.
Some countries oppose service independence and want to track their citizens. In Egypt, for example, Skype is blocked because of the unofficial government policy that anything that can’t be monitored by the government will be blocked. Apps with encrypted communications that the government can’t backdoor – like Skype – are frequently blocked for this reason.
There is ongoing debate about Skype encryption and the possibility of wiretapping it. Skype is currently available throughout the EU.
Note: This list is constantly changing as some countries might have specific temporary blockages that are difficult to track.
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