Over 50 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) faculty members have released a joint statement highlighting major flaws in Facebook’s controversial Free Basics program that offers people without the Internet free access to a handful of websites through mobile phones.
Facebook has unleashed an advertising blitzkreig to garner support for Free Basics as the last date to post comments on a paper floated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is drawing close.
Free Basics by Facebook The statement says that Facebook’s Free Basics is a lethal combination that will lead to total lack of freedom on how Indians can use the Internet.
Opponents to Facebook’s move say that Free Basics goes against the principle of net neutrality. Net neutrality implies that equal treatment be accorded to all Internet traffic and no priority be given to an entity or company based on payment to content or service providers such as telecom companies, which is seen as discriminatory.
Many technology experts have spoken out against Free Basics and now a number of IIT and IISc faculty members have issued a joint statement refuting Facebook’s claims in support of Free Basics and the social media giant’s contentions.
The statement says that Facebook’s Free Basics is a lethal combination that will lead to total lack of freedom on how Indians can use their own public utility, the Internet, reported Ibnlive.