According to the Egyptian Government, without access to the security mainframe of Facebook’s servers, there’s no Free Basics Internet for the social media company. The Free Basics Internet was introduced last year in Egypt as a way for Facebook users who had access to a computer or smartphone to access the Internet services offered by the country for free.
Yet the country’s government apparently wants to spy on its users as it denied any Free Basics Internet service to Facebook after the company refuses to give Egypt a way to monitor the web without the users’ knowledge.
Unfortunately for the free Internet proposal, it has experienced nothing but rejection since it was banned from Egypt late last year. Nevertheless, nothing great can always have an easy start as the idea of Free Basics could revolutionize the way people see Internet services across the world.
Free Basics is targeted to low class people who can’t afford access to the Internet, yet they can manage to buy a cheap computer or smartphone, given that free Internet access becomes a standard. The company’s Free Basics service as presumably blocked because the government required access to Facebook’s security mainframe, which would put everyone’s privacy at stake.
According to Reuters however, the company didn’t concede the deal, as it would harm its reputation as a safe way for people to share and upload their information. Another theory for the Free Basics’ banning from Egypt could be the potential threat it could pose for the regular Internet providing companies already established in the country.
The ban could have been competitor’s strategy
Although the spokesman for Egypt’s Ministry of Communication refused to give any statement regarding the allegations about surveillance from the government, he claimed the service was blocked for other reasons entirely. Yet, Mohamed Hanafi, the Ministry of Communication, said Free Basics was seen as harmful to the telecommunication regulator as well to companies and their competitors.
However, Facebook still sets to become a the leading free Internet provider across the globe, by offering the Free Basics service among 37 countries in need of Internet access at a low cost. And no costs is even better, as Facebook doesn’t advertise anything on the Free Basics version for websites apps for mobile devices.
It’s going to be a productive year for Facebook if the company keeps up the good work, as the company is set to reach the most crowded populations without Internet access. Before it was shut down, the free Internet service reached up to 3 million users in Egypt, according to a report from Facebook.