'Vote for your own country with Skype'

by Sietse Bakker 573 views

According to the Eurovision Song Contest rules it is not allowed to vote for your own country, but still this is possible using internet telephone Skype, which allows to contact a telephone server in an other country. Finnish media reported that last night. Esctoday.com spoke to Svante Stockselius, executive supervisor of the contest, about the issue.

'Results unreliable'
Finnish MTV3 said that many Finns might have used the oportunity to vote for Lordi as well as the voters in other countries. Telecom expert Petteri Järvis said that due to the vast spread of Skype in Europe the telephone votings have been unreliable already for a long time.

How it works… or not
With Skype it is possible to get a so-called SkypeOut number, which means it looks like phone calls from your computer look like calls from a real phone. Other people can also reach you at this number. Finnish provider Ficom confirmed that it is possible to connect from Finnish computer to Swedish server looking as if the call is made in Sweden. "It is theoretically possible also in other countries. It's not only a problem of Finland, but the problem of software", told Järvinen. According to Ficom there are several unified servers in other European countries as well. The test was made and all the 10 votes given, were registered. MTV3 assumes that from one computer it is possible to send at least 60 votes during the time period of 10 minutes. Järvinen thinks that Skype helps to forge the results also in the Eurovision Song Contest final tomorrow evening.

It should be said, however, that SkypeOut numbers have standard prefixes and that calls thus can be identified as Skype calls. The Skype software programme had more than 100,000,000 downloads worldwide over the past years.

Calls not accepted
Esctoday.com spoke to Svante Stockselius about the raised concerns. "Of course we heard about this and we've been looking into this. I have been informed that these phone calls are not being accepted, so still it's not possible to vote for your own country". The Skype website indeed mentions that "calling to some service numbers in some countries might not work". It makes sense somehow to assume that the phone numbers from Eurovision Song Contest phone numbers are blocked.

All together, an interesting case, but maybe too good to be true for some!

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