Facebook Bars Egyptian Government Surveillance

By Kelley Chittenden

Two sources with direct knowledge of Facebook’s discussions with Egypt over its Free Basics service said the Egyptian government blocked it because Facebook refused to allow the government to circumvent security and conduct surveillance on its citizens, Reuters reports. Free Basics, which allows anyone with a computer or smartphone to access a limited set of free Internet services was launched in Egypt in October 2015 and used by over three million Egyptians, one third of whom had never previously had Internet access. Facebook strengthened security protections in September, allowing users to connect seamlessly with secured sites.