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Egypt Pulls the Plug on Facebook’s Free Basics

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Egypt Shuts Down Facebook Free Basics, Facebook free internet service, free basics, etisalat free basics, etisalat free internet, egypt blocks internet

Cairo – Egyptian authorities shut down Facebook’s free internet service three weeks before the anniversary of the Jan. 25 uprising. 

A National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) source who declined to be named told Digital Boom a “security reason” associated with the anniversary of the Jan. 25 uprising is behind the decision to stop the service, which is only accessible to Etisalat Egypt subscribers. 

Facebook and Etisalat Egypt launched the service two months ago, allowing users to access specific news websites freely through freebasics.com.

The Emirati mobile operator and Egypt’s NTRA didn’t issue any official statements, the Associated Press reports. Facebook however expressed disappointment at the shutdown, hoping to restart the program soon.

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  • amina niazi

    Free basics I don’t think is just for news..you can access any news from anywhere about anything anytime, via Internet or satellite . …as we well know it’s how technology works, and the free basics is to give access to non android/apple mobile phones,so I believe that it’s about money, which makes it a commercial thing… However what is very stupid and ridiculous is to shut down any cultural venue, like Rawabet, which embraces youthful and new artistic ventures since these are essentially open to encourage freedom of expression and these, when shut down without transparency, will cause a huge underground movement, because history has shown, that whenever free expression is banned, chaos inevitably must follow. And that it’s really really stupid to put power in the hands of people who are totally unqualified to run the cultural programs of Egypt, because they have not the required background, education, experience, administrative know how, or intelligence, to nurture this crucial ministry. That it is precisely due to the catastrophic MB minister of culture that the Egyptian intelligentsia and artistic society, rose in a mass protest, lasting several months, and bringing down all of Egypt to protest all the warped ideological actions, ultimately the last straw which brought the MB government down. Egypt, the cradle of civilization, was named so, because of the civilized culture it nurtured, and constantly advanced.