Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Wants To Bring Internet To Refugee Camps

Chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company will be assisting in bringing internet connectivity to refugee camps, speaking at the United Nations Private Sector Forum. The largest social network in the world will be working with the intergovernmental body to provide internet access to refugee camps.

Zuckerberg calls the access to the internet as an "enabler of human rights" and a "force of peace" during the United Nations Private Sector Forum at the world's body headquarters. "It's not all altruism," he says, "We all benefit when we are more connected." The internet has been connecting people in the fastest and most convenient of ways and New York Times says that the Facebook CEO noted that drawing new users to his service will also be good for the social network.

The Facebook CEO did not specify however on how or when the company will be working with refugee camps. But the company's advocacy effort, Internet.org initiative has connected about four billion people who cannot afford smartphones or are not residing near cell towers globally. The advocacy has been moving forward for four years now, with the company teaming up with phone carriers to provide free access to Facebook and other websites.

Internet access is "essential" for the developing world, according to Zuckerberg. However, critics said that it would be restrictive to what people could access, calling it Facebook's "walled garden." The advocacy is simply limited and therefore, isn't suitable enough to offer the internet in its entirety as a free service.

Last April, an open letter by organizations around the world had been sent to Zuckerberg, complaining that the advocacy is against the principles of net neutrality, describing it as a guise for "access for impoverished people."

The openness of the global Internet is challenged today like never before," Tom Malinowski, the assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said, calling the countermeasures that companies and groups were developing "a foretaste of our response."

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