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posted by CoolHand on Tuesday May 05 2015, @12:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the facebook-uber-alles dept.

Facebook has announced the Internet.org Platform, "an open program for developers to easily create services that integrate with Internet.org." The partnership is designed to deliver affordable Internet access to the developing world. However the initiative has been criticized for violating net neutrality:

Facebook says it will allow more websites and other online services to join its "free mobile data" Internet.org scheme.

The announcement follows a backlash against the initiative. Opponents suggest it compromises the principles of net neutrality, because it favours access to some sites and apps over others.

But Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg said it was "not sustainable to offer the whole internet for free". "It costs tens of billions of dollars every year to run the internet, and no operator could afford this if everything were free," he said in an online video posted to Internet.org's website.

Also discussed at TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Gizmodo, and Quartz.

Previously:

Internet Access in Developing World With Drones
Facebook's Internet.org - "Internet-For-Everyone" - Launches in Zambia
India Debates Net Neutrality

Related Stories

Internet Access in Developing World With Drones 13 comments

n1 writes:

Mark Zuckerberg took to his blog yesterday to announce the next phase of his Internet.org initiative, to deliver Internet to the majority of the world which currently has no connectivity.

Today, we're sharing some details of the work Facebook's Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.

We've made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we've partnered with, helping 3 million new people access the Internet.

He goes on to describe the team working on this project, including NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and the UK aerospace company Ascenta. Which casts doubt over previous speculation that Facebook is planning to acquire Titan Aerospace.

Facebook's Internet.org - "Internet-For-Everyone" - Launches in Zambia 6 comments

The company announced the Internet.org app on Thursday, a way for people in developing countries to use free data and access Facebook, Google search and other online resources. Through a partnership with telecom provider Airtel, the Internet.org app will be available for free, initially rolling out in Zambia.

Facebook plans to connect the world by deploying things like satellites and drones to power data connectivity in countries like Zambia, and partner with mobile operators like Airtel to provide free services.

This data doesn't cost Facebook a dime, because Airtel pays for its users' free access. This partnership works for both companies if people can use Facebook for free, they'll likely sign up for an account to stay connected to friends and family, and, when Internet.org users are ready to leave the confines of the free data, Airtel will be able to get more people to pay for it.

If users go outside of the 13 different free websites (listed in the link) -- say, by clicking on a link in a Facebook post -- they'll be notified that data charges will apply.

India Debates Net Neutrality 8 comments

The debate about net neutrality in India has been heating up as the suspiciously tight April 24 deadline nears for comments on a consultation paper released on March 27 by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the country's telecom regulator. As detailed in this article, things began last Christmas.

On December 25, 2014, Airtel, the country's largest mobile operator with over 200 million active subscribers, dropped a bombshell: it wanted to charge customers extra for using services like Skype, Viber and Google Hangouts even though they had already paid for Internet access. If customers wanted to use a service that used Internet data to make voice calls — something known as VoIP — they would need to subscribe to an additional VoIP pack, the company said. Airtel was double-dipping and customers were furious. The tweets flew thick and fast. In less than four days, Airtel backtracked on its plans. It would wait, it said, for a consultation paper about net neutrality that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would publish soon.

Once that consultation paper came out, Airtel then decided to adopt the Internet.org approach by creating 'Airtel Zero':

[Continued after the break.]

The Plan to Beam the Web to 3 Billion Unconnected Humans 35 comments

A satellite broadcasting company called Outernet wants to bring all this content many of us take for granted to the estimated 3 billion people without internet access. That catch is that, in order to get content to as many people as possible efficiently and cheaply, Outernet's connection goes only one way.

"We want to solve the information access problem as quickly as possible," Outernet co-founder and CEO Syed Karim says.

Outernet sells a simple gadget called the Lighthouse that can connect to a satellite dish and download—but not upload—information such as Wikipedia entries, public domain texts from Project Gutenberg, news, crop prices and more. The device doubles as a Wi-Fi hub, so that users can connect to it and download or browse text on their own devices. You can also build a Lighthouse-style receiver yourself, using the company's open source software and instructions. The service is free, and anyone with the proper equipment can pick up Outernet's broadcasts.

Yay, a new device to capture the spending power of the 3 billion humans who live on less than $2 per day.

Related: Facebook's Internet.org "Platform" Launches


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Tuesday May 05 2015, @12:55PM

    by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @12:55PM (#179076) Journal

    Someone writes on Farcebook that the earth is flat and YOU as an earthling can fall over the edge. So commercial sea transports halts because how could they check the facts?

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by yarp on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:22PM

      by yarp (2665) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:22PM (#179102)

      Easy! Click on the banner that promises a way to avoid falling off the earth with this one weird old tip.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday May 05 2015, @07:13PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @07:13PM (#179210) Journal

        Wings included? better not be of wax then in case the sun falls down..

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @01:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @01:06PM (#179079)

    It pretends to help poor vulnerable people to only get more ignorant subjects to prey on. And teaches people that internet=Facebook and that net neutrality is something strange and unnecessary.

    With "friends" like this, who needs enemies?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by quadrox on Tuesday May 05 2015, @01:23PM

      by quadrox (315) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @01:23PM (#179082)

      I wish I had mod points left to mod you up.

      On the one hand I believe that this is a sincerely meant effort to help poor people, on the other hand it comes at such a great cost that it's really important to speak out against it.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:19PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:19PM (#179100) Homepage

        It is never a matter of altruism for the greedy Jew Zuckerburg. This big push to teach kids computer science is merely a matter of diluting the labor pool so he can pay less for more. His little immigration propaganda project serves the same purpose.

        In personal life he is cheap and does not tip [telegraph.co.uk] even though he is worth billions.

        People like him hold high positions in entertainment, government, and finance; among other industries. Their claims to be "for the people" are as equally bogus as those of Zuckerburg, and yet to push their agenda they too hide behind a curtain of phoney altruism.

        There is only one solution to the problem -- The Final Solution.

        • (Score: 5, Funny) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Tuesday May 05 2015, @03:01PM

          by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @03:01PM (#179114) Journal

          Trolls take note, this is how to do it, and this is how Ethanol-Fuelled gets away with it.

          A potentially on-topic, informative and insightful post [1], deliberately vandalised by its creator with a generous smearing of racist flamebait shit [2]. I think this post has been specifically crafted to give moderators an aneurysm.
          I feel like I'm looking at a masterfully rendered oil-painting of a grinning dog laying a turd.

          Carry on, EF, carry on. Not because I told you to, but because you will anyway.

          [1] Zuckerberg is a cheap, selfish gobshite
          [2] But not because he's Jewish. Oh, and you know, genocide.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday May 05 2015, @06:14PM

            by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @06:14PM (#179181) Journal

            There is only one solution to the problem -- The Final Solution.

            There is only one solution to the Ethanol-Fueled problem -- Mod him up! Come on: where would we be without him.

            I feel like I'm looking at a masterfully rendered oil-painting of a grinning dog laying a turd.

            (Or the one where the dogs are sitting around playing poker? Man i love that one... the one where the one dog is passing an ace of clubs to the other one (with his toes, even), so he'll then have 4 aces! Brilliant! OMG!)

            The Final Solution.... the only solution... MOD you BOTH up... two of the reasons i keep coming back: Ethanol-Fueled and beautifully rendered statements like

            I feel like I'm looking at a masterfully rendered oil-painting of a grinning dog laying a turd.

            Thanks to you both: brought a smile to my face! :)

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 05 2015, @08:22PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @08:22PM (#179248) Journal

            Trolls take note, this is how to do it, and this is how Ethanol-Fuelled gets away with it.

             
            If reverse racismn exists then Ethanol-Fueled is a reverse Minstrel Show! [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday May 05 2015, @08:58PM

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @08:58PM (#179262)

            And a final point. Eth posts with his account. No AC bullshit there.
            He wants you to know it's him and he don't give a fuck about his imaginary karma. (When he got banned from The Green Site, he still signed his posts.)
            Master Troll, that's our Ethanol Fueled!
            APK should take some lessons from him. I read Eth, (I don't agree with him often) but when I see the APK wall of incoherent hosts text....Nope, same thing over and over, no originality at all)

            --
            Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
          • (Score: 1) by Fauxlosopher on Tuesday May 05 2015, @10:55PM

            by Fauxlosopher (4804) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @10:55PM (#179288) Journal

            I think this post has been specifically crafted to give moderators an aneurysm.

            No strain on this mod's brain: I took an appreciative sip of the first three paragraphs after ignoring the initial sour flavor, then having noticed the brown floater underneath the ice in the punchbowl with the last sentence, promptly discarded my cup, modded -1 Flamebait, and swished my way through half a bottle of Listerene.

            EF is no longer on the invite list for my parties.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by gallondr00nk on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:10PM

      by gallondr00nk (392) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:10PM (#179098)

      I'd agree that it sure as hell isn't the humanitarian gesture people are making it out to be. If the point is to connect people to the internet, then why have such a small whitelist of sites?

      It strikes me as a barely disguised way of sustaining input to the data mining leviathan - more names, DOBs, addresses, likes and what have you. They'll see the developing world as little more than an untapped market for data; I guess that Facebook figure they'll make a damn sight more profit from the mining than the outlay of providing mobile data.

      It's not really much different to opening an oil well, except that the well in this case IS PEOPLE.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:52PM

        by VLM (445) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:52PM (#179111)

        except that the well in this case IS PEOPLE.

        I've been working on a theory that international data collection agencies are for a short time going to be the new swiss bank for 3rd world hell holes. In other words this is where they'll send a heck of a lot of their ill gotten money.

        Theoretically data on dirt poor people is not economically useful. However for oppression purposes, El Presidente will gladly toss some money at FB to figure out who to send the death squads against to maintain power. Your kid clicked "like" on the same dumb pop song as some opposition leader's kid? Click "bang!" and one more dead native kid, and El Presidente is scarier and less likely to be a coup victim than ever.

        The problem with this .biz model is once the general population clues in that the primary purpose of the "free" internet access is to kill, torture, or steal from them, not being complete idiots like americans are, they'll drop the "free" internet like a hot potato.

        So this .biz model only works till the bodies start piling up. Probably won't take long in some areas. Not sure if the have a followup biz plan in the works.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday May 05 2015, @03:09PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday May 05 2015, @03:09PM (#179118) Journal

          That's deliciously cynical.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:14PM (#179137)

          they'll drop the "free" internet like a hot potato.

          Well, until they notice that the people who disappeared from the "interbook" shortly after also disappear from real life … after all, what could be more suspicious than leaving a free service just for the fear that data is collected about you? Do you have anything to hide?

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:13PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:13PM (#179135) Journal

      It pretends to help poor vulnerable people to only get more ignorant subjects to prey on. And teaches people that internet=Facebook...
       
      And that is my major problem with it. It is not the internet! If they want to provide this service, that is fine. If they want to call it the "Internet," that is fraud.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @01:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @01:53PM (#179093)

    Wow... why didn't anybody else think of that before Zuck came along.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:27PM

    by bradley13 (3053) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:27PM (#179105) Homepage Journal

    "The Internet.org Platform aims to give people valuable free services"

    As if most things on the Internet aren't already free. Only on this site, it will be free like the bait on a fishhook. Some organizations are just plain evil, in the sense that it really is only about the money. Facebook is one of them.

    There are already people who think Facebook = Internet. With this domain name, Facebook obviously intends to encourage this delusion.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:33PM

      by CoolHand (438) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @02:33PM (#179108) Journal
      Exactly! There ain't no such thing as a free lunch [wikipedia.org]!!
      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Nerdfest on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:14PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:14PM (#179138)

      This is AOL, but paid for in personal information. My complaint isn't that you pay for it with information, it's that it's AOL.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:17PM (#179140)

      There are already people who think Facebook = Internet.

      Well, given that the vast majority of people already think WWW=internet, that's just the next logical step.

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:49PM

    by Freeman (732) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @04:49PM (#179153) Journal

    I went to internet.org, but just got a blank purple page. It creepily reminded me of Barney and that's Not Barney Fife.

    Ad-Block Plus is blocking these specific items:
    https://ad.atdmt.com/m/a.js;m=11002201399269;cache=0.9823928656859524?/ [atdmt.com]
    https://djgefctqm8nri.cloudfront.net/assets/images/fb-loader.gif?v=c4fb2b3/ [cloudfront.net]
    https://djgefctqm8nri.cloudfront.net/assets/images/story/internet-facebook-logo.png?v=c4fb2b3/ [cloudfront.net]

    It seems odd that Blocking of a few items would keep the entire page from loading, well except for the purple background.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 1) by No Respect on Tuesday May 05 2015, @06:08PM

    by No Respect (991) on Tuesday May 05 2015, @06:08PM (#179179)

    Just because he was incredibly fortunate to start up a lowest-common-denominator AOL-on-steroids website and made billions doesn't make him the Boss of everyone else when it comes to the internet. Or education.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @06:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @06:48PM (#179201)

    127.0.0.1 internet.org

    APK would be proud!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @09:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2015, @09:59PM (#179275)

      I did the same a few seconds ago.

      Does anybody have a complete list (or can link to a good list) of domains owned by facebook? I just cannot find a good list of servers belonging to facebook.

  • (Score: 2) by arslan on Wednesday May 06 2015, @03:15AM

    by arslan (3462) on Wednesday May 06 2015, @03:15AM (#179358)

    Just like the devil at his doorsteps saying, "Welcome to this tropical paradise, come in, its free!"

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06 2015, @07:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06 2015, @07:39AM (#179422)

      I guess we need to sprinkle these badges around more

      https://fsf.org/facebook [fsf.org]