Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web infrastructure for the internet, is vehemently opposed to Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org plan to bring a limited internet to poor countries, an initiative that has long been criticised for violating net neutrality and branded an internet “ghetto”.
“When it comes to compromising on net neutrality, I tend to say ‘just say no’,” Berners-Lee said, regarding Internet.org. “In the particular case of somebody who’s offering […] something which is branded internet, it’s not internet, then you just say no. No it isn’t free, no it isn’t in the public domain, there are other ways of reducing the price of internet connectivity and giving something […] [only] giving people data connectivity to part of the network deliberately, I think is a step backwards.”
After getting so much bad press, Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, changed the name of Internet.org, which launched last year, to ‘Free Basics’, but the same problems remain. Users will only be given access to sites that Free Basics deems appropriate – likely those that sign up to financial agreements with the initiative – restricting free use of the internet, flagrantly flouting the rules of net neutrality. Free Basics is still operating in India, despite a walkout by a number of its publisher partners.
Thank you Times of India for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia.