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[liberationtech] Psiphon keeping VoIP calling alive in Morocco

poly poly at
Tue Mar 8 22:44:46 PST 2016

Dear Pranesh,

I disagree with your comparison of Telecom companies and VoIP
providers. Telecom companies provide physical infrastructure - ISPs
should respect net neutrality - in other words be not much more than a
"dumb pipe" for data. As with any company providing a physical service,
they pay the taxes they owe in the country they operate.

VoIP services operate on top of the physical layer the ISP provides.
They simply utilize the fact that the carrier's are overcharging for
the service. The ISPs could compete with the VoIP services, but they
choose to utilize the legislative route instead.

While I agree that the tax collections on Internet companies are not
equally distributed, I cannot think of a method of collecting such
taxes that does not quickly become untenable and stifles innovation.
For example, one can't expect a start-up to pay state tax on every
advertisement they serve.

Perhaps the solution would be to encourage more countries to invest in
tech so that they may collect taxes (and other economic benefits) from
the companies that operate in their borders?

P.S. Could you please provide a link to more info about US carriers
censoring VoIP? Sounds interesting.


On Wed, 2016-03-09 at 10:41 +0530, Pranesh Prakash wrote:
> Dear all,
> While I in no way support the ban on VoIP in Morocco, I would urge
> all 
> of you to look at the larger picture of economic regulation of
> Internet 
> companies as well.
> The global tax regime is inequitable in the way only a few countries
> are 
> able to impose corporate taxes on entities that gain revenue from
> the 
> world over.
> While telecom companies have to contribute parts of their profits to 
> governments, often through universal service obligations, VoIP
> companies 
> based abroad have no such obligations to contribute to the countries 
> from whose citizens they make profits.
> So, while a VoIP ban is not warranted, painting it simply as 
> "censorship".  Indeed, in the US multiple telecom carriers prohibit
> VoIP 
> services like Google Voice on their mobile networks, and it doesn't
> get 
> painted in such stark terms (despite being just as unjustified).
> Regards,
> Pranesh
> Keith McManamen <k.mcmanamen at> [2016-03-08 18:09:56 -0500]:
> > 
> > Dear LibTech colleagues,
> > 
> > On January 5th, Moroccan telecom providers and national regulatory
> > authority the ANRT slammed the door shut on free calling services
> > such as
> > Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Facetime, and other VoIP providers. As the
> > battle
> > over VoIP services wages on in Morocco, netizens continue to find
> > access
> > around government censorship via the Psiphon network.
> > 
> > Our latest blog entry tells of the VoIP saga thus far in 2016. You
> > can find
> > out more at the link below:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > Best,
> > Keith
> > 
> > 
> > 
> -- 
> Pranesh Prakash
> Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
> | tel:+91 80 40926283
> sip:pranesh at | xmpp:pranesh at

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