back to article Egypt unfriended Facebook for Free Basics snoop snub

Facebook reportedly had its Free Basics internet service banned in Egypt because it would not meet government demands that it open the service for surveillance. A Reuters report cited two unnamed sources in claiming that the decision by authorities to suspend Free Basics in the country on December 30 of last year was due to …

  1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    A good thing happening for very bad reasons? Ethically ambiguous, to say the least.

  2. Mark 85

    Slurping user data and spying is FB's provenance. Now if Egypt offered to buy advertising space....

  3. Ole Juul

    this is rich

    the social networking giant was given unspecified demands to allow surveillance and, when that was refused, the service was suspended. This despite claims from the Egyptian government that Free Basics was actually suspended because it competed with commercial service providers.

    Or could they mean competing with government services?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A smack in the chiops for Zuck & Co?

    Perhaps, but I'm misunderstanding something. Wasn't the free basics service meant to be HTTP only? How hard is that to snoop on exactly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A smack in the chiops for Zuck & Co?

      The way I understand it, it is just like the normal internet but limited to certain websites, so it is using HTTPS as well.

      As for the claims in the article, they don't make much sense since the Free Basic Internet provided by FaceBrick isn't really provided by FaceBrick, but by a local mobile ISP who enters a partnership with FaceBrick to provide that service. FaceBrick is even trying to convince the local providers that upto 50% of their users endup buying Internet bundles after getting a taste of the Internet through Free Basic! ( ).

      The government doesn't need to speak to FaceBrick about allowing snooping since the data isn't routed through their network but through the local ISP's network!.... or that is how I understand it.

      P.S. Forgive my EngRish, it isn't my first language.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re:it is just like the normal internet

        No, because it's Facebook curated.

        I don't know how it actually is delivered, but it may be that you are only connecting to servers controlled by Zuck.

        Why does he remind me of the business man in Fifth Element?

  5. Mage Silver badge

    gives Facebook a captive audience


    It's evil. As free as first sample from a drug pusher.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: gives Facebook a captive audience

      "As free as first sample from a drug pusher."

      It's not for nothing that IT suppliers and drug pushers both describe their income as coming from "users". Now if only those suppliers always gave their wares away, all the time, instead of just the initial hit.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    nothing good in this

    Is there no irony in the fact that this is not about there being surveillance on your free basics usage, simply a question of whether just an evil corporation has that data or an evil government too.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zuck told to walk

    Like an Egyptian...

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