Disagree about the disaster. For reference comparison, so far in the history of the Internet, what would constitute disaster?
As it stands, Facebook's commitment to privacy and security for users is nonexistent. The policy of the Indian government is largely to blame for this. I'm not concerned with vendor lock-in because I trust users to learn and quickly the difference between full and walled garden Internet. I also am confident that FB's internet.org/freebasics.com will be hacked by users to enable broader access.
I am more concerned by unconnected users continuing lack of access than their privacy and security. Considering the lives that many of these people lead, their offline lives have considerably more risks to security and far greater threats to privacy than anything Facebook could present:
How concerned are people about child online protection if children are routinely trafficked, abused, impressed into the military? It's a question of perspective.
Certainly people can live without the Internet. However, it's a lot more expensive and that expense is amplified to those living in poverty. The difference between selling your harvest for a few more rupees because you know the comparative prices in neighboring villages is huge.
I'm not saying that it's a great solution or even good. I am saying that in the world of extending the Internet to the next billion users who largely live in poverty, it's one of the most significant games in town. I'm also saying that if it gives users an economic leg up, it's likely they will migrate to regular Internet service.
And yet the disaster is only a hypothetical. I'm on board with the security issues but given the Indian government's views on encryption, Facebook's policies are more likely in place to political resistance than anything else. I'm not saying this is good for users but the blame properly belongs with the Indian government.
Yes, but zero rating in the US is of a whole different character. It targets existing Internet users whereas in India it's targeting users who don't have Internet access because they can't afford it.
Drawbacks? I've heard a lot of FUD but not very much in concrete harms. The only exception to that being the weak security but the Indian government and it's policies on encryption are more to blame than Facebook.
Perhaps. I've been talking about this subject since it first came up and contribute regularly in policy discussions. The final paragraph is more of an angry rant than anything else.
This might be a bit of political finesse. In the last few weeks the Indian was mulling over the banning of encryption. If you were FB and it's local telco partner and were trying to stay on the Govt's good side, you'd not include encryption in the current environment.
Because all it takes is the first comparative exposure for new users to recognize the difference. The recognition problem is a temporary situation.
As for anti-competition, well, I'm sure that FB's partners competitors are even now looking for ways to compete in new ways. I'd call it a spur to innovation. It's too soon to call it anti-competitive.
Amazing how other market competitors are seeking to roll out competing services, isn't it? It will be interesting to see how they compare and how Facebook reacts.
Yes Karl, because we have a very different regulatory environment that comes in part from not having a state owned PTT in our history as well as a different idea of what constitutes collusion. Zero rating services would not work in the US because Internet is so common and abject poverty is relatively more unusual. The closest we get is airport wi-fi with pop-up ads.
No not at all. I'm in favor of getting people access. Period. Facebook is an imperfect solution and as you point out, one of many. But to criticize a for profit company for being, well, commercial is irrational.
I'm all for granting global ubiquitous broadband yesterday (and devices to access it) but that doesn't grow on trees.
You're way off on this one Karl. Facebook certainly has commercial interests but I don't see anyone else with similar resources extending access to the unconnected billions. Also realise that this is essentially a walled garden within a state-imposed walled garden. The name confusion issue that prompted the change is a red herring. Anyone who sees internet.org side by side with regular Internet will see the difference. I expect it to be a regular hacking target.
The net neutrality comment is completely non-contextual. Net neutrality means different things globally things globally and certainly in this case. The US & Indian telecommunications regulatory environment are very different.
Yes, it's a commercial service so Facebook gets to make decisions about it. Get over it.From the many discussions I've seen and participated in on this policy issue, this is a prime example of #firstworldproblems. Easy enough to complain about when you already have access.
Even if RIAA were correct (which it is not), stronger copyright requires stronger rule of law, not the other way around. Improving governance of the Middle East and Africa has nothing to do with copyright.
I'd also say that having professionally advised the government of Qatar on IP, the whole concept of intellectual property is foreign if not outrightly imperialistic. Culturally, copyright is nonsensical to the Middle East where the first Arabic language printing press did not show up until the 19th C. Moreover, sharing is much closer to regional cultural norms than IP.
This action is all the more puzzling because Chicago has made significant investments in creating a local Internet incubator economy. Its high density, higher education population, corporate headquarters, and new Goose Island high tech zone are a good start but this tax is demanding eggs from the golden gosling.
From all the evidence and history, the NSA does not engage in economic espionage. However, this needs unpacking. In many countries including France, economic intelligence is passed from the government to the private sector for the specific purpose of giving domestic industry an advantage. Known examples of US economic espionage entail the discovery of wrongdoing including bribery and foreign economic espionage. The US government has used this knowledge to counter such activity by threatening to bring legal action or simply make these revelations pubic. There is no evidence that I am aware of where US intelligence services provide intelligence to the private sector for their illegal advantage.
I sit corrected. Thanks Mike for clarifying. Innovation certainly has an important role and one that can upend regulation. I would suggest that innovators definitely maintain strong contacts within the groups that fight the policy battles so as to avoid innovating permissionlessly only to find that permission was required after the fact.
Innovation is great but it rarely triumphs over the path dependency created by regulation. Only in cases where technologies and services are seemingly outside the domain of regulation does innovation have sure footing. The Internet is a case in point. It ran largely unregulated for a long time and off the radar. Once it was clear that it was not a fad, regulators slowly began applying existing law to it. Drones and 3D printing are more current examples.
There is a window of opportunity for innovation between the proof of concept and the proof of power when innovation is ascendant. Once that window closes, innovation must compete with regulation and it is not a fair competition. Innovation might be nimble but regulation has the relentless tenacity, longevity, and resources of bureaucracy. Within that window of opportunity, new technologies must define and demarcate power so that once that window closes, they can assert themselves (Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon).
Agreed. Except as this whole discussion demonstrates, there is no dearth of people and organizations interested in telling and showing people in walled gardens that they are in walled gardens. There's little danger of Ignorance's long term triumph.
No it is not. For people who have never had Internet access before, it is a godsend. It grows the number of users globally. As those users become familiar with the limitations of internet.org, they'll look for other solutions and unfettered access. It's certainly suboptimal (free unfettered access) but I don't see anyone offering that. Until that mythical white knight appears, I'll welcome whatever resources are offered.
-Facebook is a business and internet.org is a product. -Some access _is_ better than no access. The online discussions necessarily only include the voices and opinions of those people with access. -This is an example of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Would free access for everyone be optimal? Yes. Is anyone offering that? No. Is someone offering a limited form of it? Yes. -It's not altruism. It is about accessing big new markets and customers. That said, no one else is reaching out to these people on this scale. In the process users will determine what they want. Once users have experience of internet.org, it will likely lead to an experience of a less filtered Internet. How many people still have AOL accounts? -Criticisms regarding privacy, security, and censorship are quaint. In all of these countries, the government already undermines these goals more than Internet.org.