Egypt Pulls the Plug on Facebook Free Basics Service

Egyptian authorities have banned Facebook’s free internet service “Free Basics” three weeks prior Jan 25 uprising 4th anniversary.
An insider at national telecommunication regulatory authority (NTRA) told Digital Boom that a security reason is behind the ban. As the anniversary of the Jan 25 uprising is approaching in three weeks.
More than five million users accessed the internet freely using Etisalat-Facebook newly launched service.
Facebook and Etisalat Egypt launched the service two months ago, giving free internet access to Facebook and specific news websites through freebasics.com.
The Emirati mobile operator nor Egypt‘s NTRA haven’t issued any statements addressing the ban. Facebook however expressed disappointment at the shutdown, hoping to resume the program soon in Egypt.

Etisalat’s Facebook Free Basics Advert


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  1. 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.

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