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Costa Rica’s state-owned telecommunications monopoly is lobbying to criminalise internet telephony. The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) is pushing for stringent controls over VoIP that at their most draconian could make internet telephony a crime, Costa Rican daily La NaciĆ³n reports.

According to the paper, 20 per cent of Costa Rica international calls are made using VoIP rather than over conventional phone circuits. ICE argues that VoIP ought to be treated as a substitute telephone service and regulated more tightly than data services. It reckons tough rules against “unlicensed operators”, including criminal sanctions if necessary, are needed.

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