Indian netizens, specially the open source activists, are severely
criticizing Internet.org and Free basics right from the beginning on the
violation of net neutrality issue. In response to that, TRAI has asked
Reliance Communication to hold Facebook Free Basics service.




On 1 January 2016 at 11:20, Milos Rancic <mill...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 1, 2016 at 2:02 AM, Marcin Cieslak <sa...@saper.info> wrote:
> > You might want to check out some discussions surrounding the Wikimedia
> Zero initiative.
> From my perspective, there is significant difference between Wikipedia
> Zero (along with similar, free of charge services) and Free Basics.
> The first group positively discriminates some websites, the second
> group negatively discriminates a part of population.
> I don't think the pure form of net-neutrality is sustainable. Many
> businesses already have deals with other businesses to provide
> something for free or "for free" or for reduced price via their
> infrastructure. The classic examples are Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola:
> they make a deal with a fast food restaurant to give you their
> products for reduced price. And when we come to bits and bytes,
> "reduced price" could be zero.
> On top of that, we have a number of Internet services of strategic
> importance. Wikimedia projects are one of such services. Yes, a number
> of Google services and Facebook are such services, as well, along with
> a number of services covering similar needs (Yandex and VKontakte in
> Russia, for example). It's good to have such services for free (before
> or after you spend your data limit).
> However, when it comes to limiting access to particular services, it
> creates an underclass, capable to participate just in one segment of
> Internet. That's quite serious.
> I don't think think Zuckerberg's initiative has such idea behind. It's
> Coca Cola-like marketing campaign. When you become that big, your
> marketing approach becomes big, as well. Familiarizing people with
> their products is clever strategy. We know that from three decades of
> Microsoft's tolerance of piracy in countries without enough of people
> capable to buy their software.
> Neither I think the initiative will really create a permanent
> underclass. People in underdeveloped regions will eventually become
> richer and they won't need this kind of service.
> Wikimedia projects will be included inside of such plans even without
> WMF's approval. And even if we theoretically could block access, we
> shouldn't do that, of course.
> There is one more important issue here: It's Facebook's initiative,
> but it's also a cartel-like approach to the market. Facebook is not
> the only company behind the initiative and the initiative could become
> quite powerful and could grow behind giving free access to limited
> internet just to the poorest inhabitants of the Earth. It could slip
> into a worldwide option, served as default in many settings.
> So, there are at least three important reasons why Wikimedia
> organizations shouldn't participate in such initiative:
> * Most importantly, while I don't think Free Basics will create a
> permanent underclass, nobody could guarantee such thing. My position
> is based on external factors, not on the design created by the
> companies participating in Free Basics. They could work hard on
> preserving a kind of status quo by gradually increasing access to
> various services, while keeping zero price. In a nightmarish scenario,
> we could get two Internets: one censored and one not censored. And
> Wikimedia shouldn't support such possible future.
> * It's Facebook's business, not ours. I don't think Wikimedia
> organizations should be outside of any business deal with for-profit
> companies, but I don't think our voice in such initiative could be
> relevant.
> * Finally, we belong to the movement which promotes net neutrality as
> one of the core values. No matter how realistic it is, we should
> support it. Wikipedia Zero is not net-neutral, but Wikimedia projects
> are of such significance that it could be tolerated. Going further
> into abandoning that principle would create definite divide between us
> and the rest of our global super-movement.
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Bodhisattwa Mandal
Administrator, Bengali Wikipedia

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