Dangerous And Ridiculous: Facebook Won't Let Sites Join Its Internet.org Program If They Encrypt Traffic
from the bad-move dept
Karl touched on this with his recent post on Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg defending his Internet.org and its walled garden of “zero rated” services, but it deserves a separate post. You see, part of Zuckerberg’s announcement was that Internet.org was expanding to let in other sites, but there are serious restrictions, and there’s a big “sorry, you’re not welcome” for sites that use HTTPS to protect the privacy of their users:
To qualify, they must meet three criteria:
- they cannot be data-intensive. Videos, high-resolution photos and internet-based voice and video chats are among the banned content
- they should encourage the exploration of the broader internet if possible, to encourage users to ultimately pay for access
You could raise serious questions about all of these conditions, and the kind of walled garden that Zuckerberg is building, but keeping out HTTPS services at a time when the protection it provides is vitally important seems ridiculous.
To be fair, when confronted on this, Zuckerberg claims this is only a temporary situation, mostly driven by the fact that older handsets/browsers can’t handle HTTPS, but frankly that’s a weak excuse, given the risks associated with unecncrypted traffic.