As Internet.org prepares to launch in Pakistan, Bolo Bhi would like to reiterate its concerns regarding the platform. On an open Internet, users should be able access all content, applications and services without any discrimination. Internet.org defies the concept of open and secure access and, instead, construes access for the impoverished as a justification for violating privacy, freedom of access, right to information and net neutrality.
We agree with civil society organizations around the world and feel that Facebook is building a “walled garden for the world’s poorest people.” The marketing for Internet.org has been nothing but misleading. It doesn’t clarify that Internet.org does not provide full access to the Internet but only to limited platforms. It is akin to building a world where the next billion are being told that limited and non-secure websites are the future of the Internet and communications.
Internet.org thereby violates the principles of net neutrality, freedom of access, equality of opportunity, security, privacy and innovation with its launch in Pakistan and for the next billion around world.