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The Information Network Security Administration (INSA) has been banning the importation of “high-capacity mining servers” into the country along with other devices that it deems pose a threat to the nation’s security and economy.

In an annual report INSA shared on Facebook on August 19, 2022, the administration, which is mandated with ensuring the safety of the nation’s information infrastructure, stated that it had prohibited close to 4,000 pieces of ICT equipment from entering the country in the last fiscal year.

According to Eshetu Buresa, head of the Information and Communications Technology Division at INSA, surveillance cameras that could be used for unlawful purposes, high-level threat drones that could be used for terrorist attacks, fraudulent telecom devices, satellite phones, GPS devices, high-capacity mining servers, battlefield binoculars, and two-way radio transceivers are some of the major ICT equipment that were prohibited from entering the country.

INSA received nearly 800 permit requests to import various ICT equipment in the last fiscal year. 690 firms’ request for 77,350 imported ICT equipment was granted. Meanwhile, 64 institutions had their request for 4,000 ICT items denied. These denied requests have shown a 23pc increase from the previous year.

According to INSA’s establishment proclamation, INSA has the power to control the import and export of ICT equipment to prevent them from posing a threat to national security. INSA believes the prohibited items are security threats that are difficult to monitor and could potentially harm the economy.

It’s to be recalled that last week, INSA made an urgent call to individuals and entities involved in providing crypto services to register with the Authority.

The call urges those involved in mining and crypto transfer in Ethiopia to register within ten consecutive working days from the date of the announcement.

INSA remarked that failing to register might result in legal consequences, citing that it has the legal mandate to regulate crypto use in Ethiopia. The authority registered 25,000 pieces of ICT equipment in the country last year.

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