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Indian net neutrality activists pen open letter to Mark Zuckerberg

  • Even as Facebook
    founder Mark Zuckerberg bats vehemently for net neutrality, a group of
    activists, running the website
    savetheinternet.in,
    has raised questions over the Internet.org platform.
  •  
    • Even as Facebook
      founder Mark Zuckerberg bats vehemently for net neutrality, a group of
      activists, running the website
      savetheinternet.in,
      has raised questions over the Internet.org platform.
    •  

    •  
    • In an open letter to
      Zuckerberg, the ‘Save the Internet’ team said it’s “a matter of
      distress” that Facebook through its Internet.org platform and lobbying on
      regulatory consultations, has sought to undermine net neutrality in India.
    •  
    • During his townhall
      address at IIT Delhi on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said his company is committed to
      net neutrality, but supported zero-rating plans which have been criticised by
      many as violative of the principles of free Internet.
    •  
    • “Even today,
      Internet.org has restrictions that those services which compete with telecom
      operator services will not be allowed on it,” the letter said.
    •  
    • The letter said its
      concern with Internet.org/Free Basics is that it will create a new digital
      divide: those who access Facebook and its partner services, and those who
      access the open Internet.
    •  
    • The activists said
      Internet.org is not an open platform and “all we are asking for is for you
      to ensure that any such effort to bring access to the Internet ensure that
      users get access to the entire Internet, and not through a pre-determined menu
      or filter, which primarily benefits those who are selected for the
      platform”.
    •  
    • The letter flagged
      worries that data for all the websites on Internet.org will be with Facebook,
      and restrictions on them publicly disclosing usage of their sites and services
      by users on Internet.org.
    •  
    • “Facebook, along
      with its intention to connect billions to the Internet, should support and
      advocate net neutrality and permission-less innovation in India, the way it has done in the US,” it
      said.
    •  
    • Internet.org, which
      aims to bring free Internet access to the developing world, has faced a
      backlash, with activists alleging that it violates net neutrality, an idea
      which means that all online traffic should be treated equally.

     

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