Facebook Provides Free Internet in India, but Implements Restrictions

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Facebook Provides Free Internet in India, but Implements Restrictions

Recently, Facebook loosened its stranglehold on Internet.org, its free internet service that it provides in India, Tanzania, Colombia, Kenya, Ghana, and Zambia. This is by allowing access to any website free via the Internet.org service with a premise that these websites don’t use JavaScript, HTTPS, among other things.

Facebook offers mobile internet access free of charge, provided a user uses a device that runs an Opera web browser, mobile data network connected, and only open 38 selected websites.

Though it sounds promising, many also have complained that its overall scheme is anticompetitive, and goes against the net neutrality principle, which last May was fully backed by Facebook.

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, defended Internet.org by stating to supporters of net neutrality, by saying that a little of the internet provided for free was certainly better than none at all.

Mark Zuckerberg U-turned today and stated that any website will now have the chance to join Internet.org by applying, and comply with given rules. One of the rules Facebook emphasized on not allowing encrypted connections.

This is because all of this web traffic needs to go through the proxy servers of Internet.org, and it does not support HTTPS (SSL/TLS). Either the site’s encryption will be stripped, or rejected.

Zuckerberg though isn’t closing the doors completely, and stated in a post that HTTPS browsing via Internet.org will “happen soon.”

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