Evil people - Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

This is downright deplorable. From Foreign Policy:

Facebook’s Free Basics Is an African Dictator’s Dream
NAIROBI — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise visit to Kenya and Nigeria in September saw him eat ugali fish with his hands and crash a Nollywood music video shoot in between whirlwind tours of innovation hubs and tech incubators.

“Hey Africa,” he seemed to say. “I get you. Facebook gets you.”

Zuckerberg’s lighting public relations blitz contrasted sharply with Facebook’s under-the-radar expansion in Africa, which is built around a no-frills internet app called Free Basics. India’s government rejected the same app, which provides access to a low-data version of Facebook and a limited number of pre-selected websites, on the grounds that it amounted to a two-tiered internet system, one for the rich and one for the poor. But Facebook continues to roll it out quietly in Africa — so quietly, in fact, that many of hundreds of millions of people who now have access to the app in 23 different African countries don’t even know they do.

On the surface, Free Basics seems like the answer to many interconnected prayers. It’s a cheap, easy way to get millions of people online at a time when the internet is not only a daily necessity but increasingly thought of as a human right. The app piggybacks on the rapid adoption of mobile phones in Africa and is made available for free through partnerships with local mobile telecom providers. Those who sign up for a Facebook account through Free Basics are then able to log on to a pared-down version of the internet on their phones.

But there’s a dark side to Free Basics that has the potential to do more harm than good — a side that suggests that Zuckerberg doesn’t get Africa after all. The app is essentially a cheap version of the internet, a fact that by itself implies that some people aren’t good enough to merit the whole thing. Even worse, it’s a version of the internet that gives Facebook — and by extension the corporations and governments that partner with Facebook — total control over what its users can access.

Wait until people learn how to set up mesh networks and long-distance point-to-point routing. The internet was designed to route around damage and cencorship certainly counts as damage. The technology is cheap and not difficult to set up. I give this scam about three years until it is totally hacked and beaten to the ground. Information wants to be free.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 27, 2016 10:02 PM.

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