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posted by cmn32480 on Sunday February 14 2016, @01:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the win-for-privacy dept.

"No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged by the service provider for the purpose of evading the prohibition in this regulation," TRAI said in a statement.

This would effectively eliminate Facebook's strategy for "Free Basics" which was to serve users certain websites for free, while charging for others.

Facebook had to say:

"Our goal with Free Basics is to bring more people online with an open, non-exclusive and free [as in beer] platform. While disappointed with the outcome, we will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the internet and the opportunities it brings."

I am pleased that any agents within the government who wanted this surveillance and propaganda engine put into place for the purposes of crowd control have been denied their plans.

Full article:

Additional source:

TRAI ruling:

Original Submission

Related Stories

Facebook in Talks With U.S. Government About Bringing "Free Basics" to America 16 comments

Facebook is interested in bringing zero-rated "Free Basics" Internet access to Americans, after its failure in India:

Facebook has been in talks for months with U.S. government officials and wireless carriers with an eye toward unveiling an American version of an app that has caused controversy abroad, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. The social media giant is trying to determine how to roll out its program, known as Free Basics, in the United States without triggering the regulatory scrutiny that effectively killed a version of the app in India earlier this year. If Facebook succeeds with its U.S. agenda for Free Basics — which has not been previously reported — it would mark a major victory for the company as it seeks to connect millions more to the Web, and to its own platform.

The U.S. version of Free Basics would target low-income and rural Americans who cannot afford reliable, high-speed Internet at home or on smartphones. The app does not directly pay for users' mobile data. Rather, it allows users to stretch their data plans by offering, in partnership with wireless carriers, free Internet access to resources such as online news, health information and job leads.

Also at Ars Technica, CBS, USA Today, and CNET.

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday February 14 2016, @01:50AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 14 2016, @01:50AM (#303906) Journal

    Our purpose with Free Basics, was to lock people in to Facebook offerings. Hey, Microsoft got away with it, by offering free computers to schools! They've managed to rope most of the world into a Microsoft world, despite the fact that Unix-likes can do things better, faster, and more rationally. Giving away free stuff pays off! And, now, India won't let us give away free stuff!

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Gravis on Sunday February 14 2016, @02:36AM

      by Gravis (4596) on Sunday February 14 2016, @02:36AM (#303931)

      you know it's a con when even Runaway thinks it's a con.

    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Sunday February 14 2016, @10:21AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Sunday February 14 2016, @10:21AM (#304091) Journal
      Exactly. If you actually want to do what they're claiming that they want to do, then subsidise a very limited service (e.g 64Kb/s 500MB/month maximum). That's not enough that people who can afford to pay for Internet will stop doing so, but is a huge step up from no Internet access. Of course, if you do this, then people will quickly learn that the ratio of useful content to bandwidth consumption of Facebook is basically zero and Facebook won't make any money from it.
      sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14 2016, @01:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14 2016, @01:58AM (#303908)

    See subject.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14 2016, @09:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14 2016, @09:35AM (#304072)

    There are some new links but it looks to be a duplicate of this post: []

    Better to have added comments to the old story than to make a duplicate.