Skype, which offers free video, audio and text communication via the internet, is officially banned in the United Arab Emirates, said the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.
Neither of the country’s service providers - the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), and the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company - had submitted a request to the authority to lift the ban, said TRA General Manager Mohamed Nasser al-Ghanem.
“Skype is still blocked, and will remain so until the provider obtains an official license from the TRA,” he told al-Emarat al-Youm newspaper.
However, Etisalat said the authority had declared in 2010 that operators could offer the service without submitting requests.
Skype & VOIP are blocked in various countries though, such as China, Belize and the United Arab Emirates. But the firewalls that blocks Skype is easy to bypass using a VPN service: a virtual tunnel is set between your computer or mobile device and the VPN server: this will change your IP address into an anonymous IP address from the country you have chosen among the available servers. This will then allow you to use Skype wherever you go, and with whichever telecom company you subscribe to.
Skype over a VPN offers you an extra layer of protection against monitoring by your government. Indeed, using an IP address outside of your location can also make you surf anonymous and makes it much more difficult for third parties to access your online information.