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Facebook Renames the Controversial Internet.org Application

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Facebook’s Internet.org application has been renamed into Free Basics by Facebook.

This controversial and somehow prominent application was meant to help with connecting the unconnected, but it has faced lots of mixed reactions from various corners of the world.

The new Free Basic by Facebook is now available in more than 18 countries, both as a mobile application and as a mobile website as well. According to the company, this change has been effected to bring distinction between the app, the mobile website, and the real Internet.org. This is true because the latter service is taking into account lots of other business models and technologies designed to help get the web services to users at a faster rate.

Internet.org has faced several backlashes since being unveiled

Facebook developed the Internet.org application to help with providing free internet services to those who couldn’t access the services much quicker. Even though this might be a good thing in the eyes of the user, there are some key stakeholders in the economy that have been very vocal about this new platform.

The main problems began in India as several publishers showed their lack of support for the program. The Free Basics by the Facebook program is designed to allow publishers to offer free pared-down services through an inbuilt Facebook app. Their worry was that Facebook was conspiring with select mobile carriers to determine the sites that made it to the platform; something that they felt was a violation of net neutrality.

This resistance to Internet.org services was eventually put in theform of writing and forwarded to Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg sometime in May this year. However, in response to this claim, the Zuck was quick to defend his establishment, adding that it had nothing to do with net neutrality as the program did not in any way prevent access to internet services. The idea of Facebook’s Internet.org, according to the Zuck, is to provide internet services to the group of people who would otherwise find it a problem to have it.

Free Basics by Facebook addresses issues of equal access, security, and privacy

There is no problem in defending one of your own, just as Zuckerberg did with Internet.org. However, this was not enough for the tech wiz as he knew something was cooking, and it needed to be checked before it got overcooked.

There were issues of equal internet access coming up, and so were those related to privacy and security. The company made a smart move to address these problems quickly by opening up the platform such that no publisher is left out. To make the matters better, Free Basics by Facebook comes in with 60 additional services where users can easily select them directly from a menu within the Free Basics app.

Facebook intends to provide free Internet services in areas where there are no contemporary security measures, constrained networks, older devices, and there is no support for modern security protocols. This will for sure pose problems to the organization when it comes to taking care of malicious attacks and unauthorized access.

In this regard, the Zuck has taken some strong measures as far as privacy and security of Free Basics by Facebook is concerned. According to the social networking giant, encryption of information will be applied wherever possible and the services will be offered via the standard HTTPS protocol as opposed to the less secure HTTP, be it on the Android app or web version. This is a good way of taking care of the backlash that would have otherwise slowed down the program.