Facebook is desperate to ensure that the Internet never takes hold in developing nations -- they want a walled garden that they get to own and operate.
They've been experimenting with "zero rating," where they bribe mobile phone carriers in poor countries not to charge for the services that Facebook anoints. This has been extensively tried and evaluated, and it does virtually nothing to get poor people online -- rather, it's used by the wealthy to offset their mobile bills on their commutes, between wifi (that is, real Internet access).
There was a popular uprising in India in response to this, analogous to the USA's SOPA fight, in which Indian net activists rejected zero-rating in favor of better telcoms regulation, more competition, and an end to corrupt practices in mobile services.
India's telcoms regulator eventually took notice, banning Facebook's zero-rating partners from favoring its services. In response, Facebook's taken out huge, full-page ads rubbishing Net Neutrality, full of FUD worthy of 1990s-era Microsoft.
Colombia wants to produce Novartis’s leukemia drug imatinib under a compulsory license, something it is allowed to do under its trade agreement with the USA, to bring the price down from $15,161/year (double the annual average income) to prices like those charged in India ($803/year).
Justin Shafer was roused from his bed this week by thunderous knocking at his North Richland Hills, Texas home, and when he opened the door, found himself staring down the barrel of a ‘big green’ assault weapon, wielded by one of the 12-15 armed FBI agents on his lawn.
Every year, the Senate passes a secret bill (that is, a bill whose text is a secret during its debate) that re-authorizes intelligence agencies’ surveillance powers; this year, someone (possibly chairman Richard Burr, R-NC and/or Tom Cotton, R-AR) has snuck in an amendment that would give the FBI the power to demand warrantless access to […]
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