Tag Archives: networking

Tor is getting a major security upgrade

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To hackers, spies, and cyber-criminals these days, calling Tor “secure” is a bit laughable. There are so many exploits and workarounds, along with unavoidable weaknesses to side-channel attacks performed in the physical world, that in some cases the false sense of cyber-security can end up making relaxed use of Tor less secure than paranoid use of the regular internet. If you’re someone looking to buy some weed on the internet (or communicate securely with your mistress), Tor is probably alright for you. If you’re looking to sell some weed on the internet, get in contact with a government informant, or share sensitive information between foreign activists, it probably isn’t. Tor is looking to change that.

This is coming specifically in the wake of recent revelations of wide-ranging vulnerabilities in Tor’s anonymity protocols. A high-profile expose accused researchers at Carnegie Mellon of accepting a government bounty (reportedly a cool million dollars) to de-anonymize certain Tor users (those specifically mentioned in the expose include a child porn suspect and a Dark Market seller). Their attack vector and others are just what cynical hacker-forum users have been prophesying for years, things like malicious Tor nodes and directory servers that exist solely to suck up the personal info of those Tor users they serve.

TorOne major initiative involves the algorithm governing the selection and use of “guard nodes,” which are the first anonymizing nodes used by a Tor hidden service, and thus the only nodes interacting with the legitimate IP, directly. Right now, a Tor connection might use multiple guard nodes and as a result open itself up to more vulnerability than necessary — now, the developers want to make sure that Tor connections use the minimum possible number of guard nodes, and preferably just one.

Another push hopes to reinforce the wall between dark web domains, the crawlers used by search engines, and specialized server-finders. One of the strengths of a hidden service is that it’s hidden — not just the physical location of the server hosting the service, but the digital address of the service itself, unless you’re specifically handed the randomly generated onion address. Keeping hidden services off of search engine results means that a private service can remain private, used only by those people specifically handed the address. Should an attacker find that address, Tor’s anonymity protocols should protect it. But attackers can’t even try to access services they have no idea exist.

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If you’re up to delving a bit deeper into the Dark Web, and you don’t mind looking at 99 useless sites for every interesting one, boot up the Tor Browser and take a look at this ingenious hidden service indexing tool for an idea of the level of crawling that can currently be done on the Deep Web.

The Tor Project exists to provide anonymity — that is its main function, and all other functions are in service to that. So, to attack the security of a Tor user (even a legitimately horrible criminal) is to attack Tor itself. It’s a tough principle to stand behind, at the end of the day — to get mad about police efforts to catch child pornographers. Yet, the security world is united; security researcher Bruce Schneider has called Carnegie Mellon’s alleged collaboration “reprehensible,” as did numerous other academic security researchers.

silk road 2Their reasoning is sound. There is simply no way to attack the availability of anonymity to bad people without also undermining the availability of anonymity to good ones. We also need to have a class of disinterested researchers who can interface with the criminal/quasi-legal cyber underground and have meaningful, honest conversations — we need this for social understanding, the maintenance of free speech, and effective law enforcement.

That’s not a perspective that seems to exist in the government, to any extent. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have led to sustained attacks on encryption and anonymity, even before the investigation produced any evidence that the attackers had used encryption, and certainly in absence of any evidence that if they had not used encryption that they would have been detected reliably by French or international security agencies. The New York Times, which broke the story of an alleged encryption aspect to the attacks, has since pulled the story from their website.

Of course, the hacker/security community will take some time to win back, and may never return to the fold. There’s a significant number of people who still believe that Tor is an elaborate government honeypot with zero real security from government spying. That’s unlikely, but ultimately it’s the perception that counts. Can the Tor Project win back the hardcores? Perhaps not. But with its continuing, aggressive updates, it could keep us normies safer as we browse drug-lists without buying, stare uncomprehendingly at ISIS statements posted in Arabic, and just generally indulge the extremes of our intellectual curiosity.

In other words, it could keep the basic tenets of liberty alive just a little bit longer.

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Is T-Mobile’s unlimited video streaming actually good for consumers?

Consumer advocates warn that while Binge On offers the short-term benefit of letting you gorge on the go, it could hurt innovation in the long run.

T-Mobile’s new offer of unlimited video streaming could be a great deal for Netflix and HBO Go fanatics. It may also set a bad precedent.

The nation’s third-largest wireless carrier on Tuesday took the wraps off Binge On, a program that lets some customers stream an unlimited amount of video from certain services to their smartphones without busting their monthly data caps. The program, which is similar to T-Mobile’s Music Freedom service, launches Sunday with access to video from 24 popular sources, including Netflix, Hulu and ESPN.

The Bellevue, Washington, company is billing Binge On as a win for consumers. But it also raises the question of whether this sets up wireless service providers as app gatekeepers, which could in the long run inhibit the creation of new services and limit consumer choices.

“In the short term, it might be benefiting some consumers,” said Matt Wood, policy director at the consumer advocacy group Free Press. “But the fact that they’re willing to do this at all calls into question why there’s a data cap if T-Mobile can give exemptions to whole categories of applications.”

It’s the control over which applications are exempt from data caps and which are not that troubles Wood and other critics, many of whom question whether the practice also violates the Federal Communication Commission’s Net neutrality rules. These rules, adopted in February, are based on the principle that traffic on the Internet should be treated equally and that Internet service providers should have no say in which services and applications consumers use.

T-Mobile’s new offer is an example of a practice known as “zero rating,” which allows Internet service providers, such as wireless companies, not to count data usage for certain applications against a customer’s monthly cap. The FCC has not taken a strong stand on this practice. Its Net neutrality rules deliberately don’t prohibit such deals, allowing instead the FCC to review complaints case by case.

“There are ways that zero rating can be done badly and ways it can be done well,” said Doug Brake, telecom policy analyst for the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington, DC-based think tank that has encouraged the FCC to remain open to alternative business models. “I think the way T-Mobile has structured this is smart.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere described Binge On as “completely compliant” with Net neutrality rules. The company will allow any legal streaming service to join the program, Legere said in an interview, as long as these services meet its technical standards.

“The same people that raise that issue think that breathing the air is a violation of Net neutrality,” Legere quipped.

One of his key arguments is that neither the consumer nor the services are paying to be part of Binge On. Consumers can also turn the feature off.

“How can consumer choice be bigger than yes or no?” he said.

The T-Mobile service works by using proprietary technology to downgrade the resolution of the streaming service to “DVD quality,” less than one would expect on a large-screen TV. Industry watchers generally agree that customers viewing video on smartphones won’t notice a difference in resolution because the screens are so small.

Critics say the fact that streaming companies need to adapt their service or seek permission from T-Mobile to be included in its program is itself a barrier to competition and ultimately will lead to fewer choices for consumers.

“One of the key principles of the Internet is that it offers innovation without permission,” said Barbara van Schewick, a law professor at Stanford University. This means developers can create applications and those applications just work, but T-Mobile’s program interferes with that principle because new entrants must meet the company’s technical requirements, she said.

“The program has the effect of making certain video apps more attractive than others,” she said.

Legere said these fears are overblown, but T-Mobile has not released details of how its technology works or what requirements need to be met.

“You know who I think can meet the technical requirements? Anyone who wants to,” Legere said. “If it’s proven not to be [easy], we’d adapt.”

Still, Wood questioned why T-Mobile is singling out streaming video rather than including other data-intensive services like online video games. In other words, why does T-Mobile need to offer unlimited data for particular applications when it already offers a data plan that provides unlimited access to all applications? (T-Mobile increased the cost of its unlimited data plan by $15 a month on the day it announced Binge On.)

“What is the point of a cap if certain uses are exempt?” Wood said. “We don’t see the rationale for a cap if you magically lift it depending on what kind of service you’re using.”

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Prosecutors Announce More Charges in JPMorgan Cyberattack

Billing it as the largest hacking case ever uncovered, federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Tuesday described a global, multiyear scheme to steal information on 100 million customers of a dozen companies in the United States and use the data to advance stock manipulation activities, illicit online gambling and fraud.

Prosecutors said they uncovered the complex scheme in their investigation of a computer hacking last year atJPMorgan Chase that involved the breach of contact information, such as emails, from 83 million customer accounts.

Before long, investigators had uncovered a trail of 75 shell companies and a hacking scheme in which the three defendants used 30 false passports from 17 different countries. The group’s activity goes back as far as 2007, and it has reaped “hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit proceeds,” some of it hidden in Swiss accounts and other bank accounts, prosecutors said.

The data breaches “were breathtaking in their scope and size,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, at a news conference on Tuesday. The activity, described as a 21-century twist on tried-and-true criminal activity, unveiled the existence of “a brave new world of hacking for profit,” perhaps signaling the next frontier in securities fraud.

The accused — two Israeli citizens and a United States citizen — face 23 counts of fraud and other illegal activities, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday that added hacking to manipulation and fraud charges that were filed against the three in July. The charges are the first directly linked to the JPMorgan hack.

Two of the accused, Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein, remain in custody awaiting extradition from Israel after being arrested in July. A third defendant, Joshua Aaron, the American, is believed to be in Russia. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a “wanted notice” for him “for his alleged involvement in a scheme to hack major American companies in order to acquire customer contact information.”

A separate indictment on Tuesday outlined seven charges against Anthony Murgio, a Florida man previously accused of running an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange. That exchange was owned by Mr. Shalon, whom prosecutors described Tuesday as the founder and leader of the sprawling criminal enterprise.

Lawyers for the four men could not immediately be reached.

Another man facing fraud charges, Yuri Lebedev, has not been charged with hacking. Mr. Bharara said on Tuesday “there are discussions between the parties.”

Prosecutors charged that the group led by Mr. Shalon hacked seven financial institutions and two newspapers to get contact information with which they could advance their pump-and-dump stock manipulation scheme. They “took the classic stock fraud scheme and brought it into the cyber age,” Mr. Bharara said.

Prosecutors said the group was involved in a broad array of activities, including processing payments for illegal pharmaceutical suppliers, running illegal online casinos and owning an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange.

Nearly all the activities “relied for their success on computer hacking and other cybercrimes,” prosecutors said on Tuesday.

According to the indictment, the three used a rented computer server based in Egypt to try hacking into customer databases at the brokerage firms TD Ameritrade and Fidelity Investments as well as JPMorgan. The ring also gained access to a computer network at what was called “Victim 8,” or Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, containing up to 10 million customer email addresses, prosecutors said.

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Separately, federal prosecutors in Atlanta on Tuesday announced charges against Mr. Shalon, Mr. Aaron and an unnamed defendant in the late-2013 attacks on E-Trade Financial Corporation and Scottrade Financial Services, both major online brokers. The 10 charges include aggravated identity theft, computer fraud and wire fraud.

Prosecutors in Atlanta said they had uncovered online chats in which Mr. Shalon and an unnamed hacker discussed their plans to use stolen customer contact information to build their own brokerage database for peddling stocks to investors.

The New York indictment also charges the three men with hacking two software development companies to obtain information to advance their online gambling activities, and they targeted a market intelligence firm to support their card-processing activities.

The men operated at least 12 unlawful Internet casinos and marketed them to customers in the United States through extensive email promotions. The casinos generated “hundreds of millions of dollars in unlawful income,” prosecutors said, at least $1 million in profits a month.

JPMorgan confirmed on Tuesday that it was identified as “Victim 1” in the superseding indictment.

“We appreciate the strong partnership with law enforcement in bringing the criminals to justice,” the bank said in a statement. “As we did here, we continue to cooperate with law enforcement in fighting cybercrime.”

On Tuesday, E-Trade Financial, based in New York, said it was attacked in late 2013 and found no evidence that sensitive financial information had been compromised. It added that contact information for some 31,000 customers may have been exposed.

“Security is a top priority, and we focus a significant amount of time and energy to help keep our customers’ data and information safe and secure,” E-Trade said in a statement.

Fidelity, based in Boston, said, “We have confirmed with the F.B.I. that there is no indication that our customers were affected.”

In a statement, Scottrade said, “We continue to work closely with the authorities by providing any and all information and resources we can to support their investigation and prosecution of the criminals.” Scottrade, based in St. Louis, previously said 4.6 million client accounts were targeted.

Dow Jones said in a statement on Tuesday, “The government’s investigation is ongoing, and we continue to cooperate with law enforcement.”

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Hackers’ sale of Comcast log-ins reminds us to change our password habits

Hackers offered 200,000 customer passwords for sale online, forcing Comcast to send reset notices to many users. The lesson? We all need to get a lot smarter about Internet security.

In case you needed a reminder: Change your passwords frequently, and use a different password on every website.

I know, it’s annoying. But that’s the takeaway from news that Comcast had to reset passwords on nearly 200,000 customer email accounts.

Here’s the catch. Hackers didn’t breach Comcast’s computers to steal the information. Instead, they created their list of passwords with information stolen from you and me. Sometimes we’re so gullible that hackers can trick us into giving them our password. Then, since we often use the same password everywhere, those hackers have a skeleton key to our lives.

That’s often how hackers have broken into the online accounts of various celebrities over the years.

Comcast’s answer was to reset all the passwords for its affected customers, said a spokeswoman for the company. Steve Ragan, a security researcher and blogger, was the first to stumble on the list of passwords.

The good news is there are some smart password habits that can protect you from losing control of your entire online life.

Use complicated passwords

With so much information potentially for sale on the dark side of the Internet, or easily found on your Facebook page, it really isn’t a good idea to make your password the name of your beloved Pomeranian. Randomly generated passwords that use special characters and numbers are best.

There are lots of memory tricks you can use to help you accomplish this, but you should probably just…

Use a password manager

We applaud you if you’ve gotten this far without screaming out, “That’s impossible!” and closing your browser window.

The fact is, few people can memorize complicated, unique passwords for every online account they have. That’s OK.

Fortunately, software developers have come up with an answer. A variety of tools can help you keep track of all your passwords. Two of the most popular password managers are called LastPass and 1Password, both of which can help you use every tip listed here.

Of course, password managers aren’t perfect either. After hackers breached its systems a few months ago, LastPass was recently purchased by workplace log-in company LogMeIn. The hackers couldn’t access all the user passwords, but they found the hints that could have let them into some user accounts.

OK, now that you’re using a password manager…

Don’t use the same password for different accounts

If hackers steal your password, they may try it on any number of accounts. You wouldn’t want intruders to get into your bank account just because you used the same password you used for the Harry Potter fan site Pottermore, would you?

What’s more, some websites take security much less seriously than others. For example, some sites email you your password in plain text when you’ve forgotten it. That’s incredibly easy information for a hacker to intercept. Limit risks caused by one site’s laxness by having a unique password for all your accounts.

It’s also a good idea to…

Change your passwords frequently

Once your password gets stolen, it might go up for sale on the Dark Web, that untraceable series of websites where everything from drugs to your health records might be up for grabs.

That’s what happened to the Comcast passwords. A whopping 590,000 were for sale, but luckily only about 200,000 were up to date. That number could have been lower if Comcast users were changing their passwords more frequently.

And if you’re willing to go that extra step, there’s one more thing that’s easy to do…

Use ‘multiple factors’ to log in

As you can see, there’s no way to guarantee that someone won’t steal your password. That’s why you should take advantage of multiple-factor log-ins when available. Plenty of major Web-based companies will let you turn on this feature, which often sends a code to your mobile phone or email account after you take care of factor one by entering your password. Enter the code next (that’s the second factor) and you’re logged in.

Unless hackers have your phone in hand, or access to your email account, only you will be able to log in.

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Facebook now averages over 1 billion active users every day

That milestone number was first reached this summer, but is now standard

Facebook reported its third quarter earnings today, and the figure that stood out was 1.01 billion average daily users. That is up 17 percent from the same three-month period last year and highlights what a massive global phenomenon the social network has become.

The company’s share price also surged in after-hours trading after it beat analysts’ expectations. It reported $4.5 billion in revenue and a profit of $1.46 billion. Those numbers are both up more than 40 percent over the same period last year.

As with previous quarters, mobile continues to be an increasingly large percentage of Facebook’s revenue, now accounting for 78 percent of all advertising dollars on the platform, up from 66 percent for the third quarter last year.

Investors had been hoping that Facebook would break out some details of the money Instagram is earning. The photo-sharing app has now rolled out a robust advertising business, but so far, Facebook is keeping those numbers opaque, reporting inside of its larger advertising business.

So far founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had only platitudes to offer. “We had a good quarter and got a lot done. We’re focused on innovating and investing for the long term to serve our community and connect the entire world.” We’re hoping for something more on the earnings call later this afternoon and will update this post accordingly.

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Facebook is building artificial intelligence to finally beat humans at Go

Facebook is now tackling a problem that has evaded computer scientists for decades: how to build software that can beat humans at Go, the 2,500-year-old strategy board game, according to a report today from Wired. Because of Go’s structure — you place black or white stones at the intersection of lines on a 19-by-19 grid — the game has more possible permutations than chess, despite its simple ruleset. The number of possible arrangements makes it difficult to design systems that can look far enough into the future to adequately assess a good play in the way humans can.

“We’re pretty sure the best [human] players end up looking at visual patterns, looking at the visuals of the board to help them understand what are good and bad configurations in an intuitive way,” Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer said. “So, we’ve taken some of the basics of game-playing AI and attached a visual system to it, so that we’re using the patterns on the board—a visual recognition] system—to tune the possible moves the system can make.”

SOFTWARE THAT CAN PLAY GO BY MIMICKING THE HUMAN BRAIN

The project is part of Facebook’s broader efforts in so-called deep learning. That subfield of artificial intelligence is founded on the idea that replicating the way the human brain works can unlock statistical and probabilistic capabilities far beyond the capacity of modern-day computers. Facebook wants to advance its deep learning techniques for wide-ranging uses within its social network. For instance, Facebook is building a version of its website for the visually impaired that will use natural language processing to take audio input from users — “what object is the person in the photo holding?” — analyze it, and respond with relevant information. Facebook’s virtual assistant, M, will also come to rely on this type of technology to analyze and learn from users’ requests and respond in a way only humans could.

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Snapchat just reserved the rights to store and use all selfies taken with the device

Think that picture you’re about to send is temporary? Think again

The beauty of Snapchat is that the photos only last for a few seconds, unless your friend decides to screenshot them.

Even then, you get a notification, so can know exactly which photos of you are owned by someone else.

However, now, the app has changed its terms and conditions so it owns every single photo taken using the app.

Not only this, but if you use it, you’re consenting to the app doing whatever it likes with your photographs.

Not only that, but the privacy policy also states that by sharing your content on the service, you are also granting Snapchat permission to use your name, likeness and voice anywhere in the world, with no restrictions, on all media and distribution channels, forever.

This means that the photos people take, thinking they are temporary and private, could appear on Snapchat’s promotional material, on its website or even its social media accounts.

Snapchat has faced controversy before, as it claimed that all the photos sent on the device were automatically deleted from its servers.

This lead to a rise in ‘sexting’, where people would send risque images to one another using the app.

People who did this felt confident that the photos would self-destruct.

However, Snapchat admitted to the FTC that in fact the images are never actually truly deleted from a user’s device, and it is actually possible to recover the images.

The app hasn’t suffered from the scandals, however. It is valued at a reported $16 billion (£10 billion).

Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and chief executive of Snapchat, has spoken about what he thinks the app should be used for.

He said: “Historically photographs have been used to save really important memories, major life moments, but today, with the advent of the mobile phone and the connected camera, pictures are being used for talking.

“Now photographs are really used for talking, that’s why people are taking and sending so many photos on Snapchat.”

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Tor launches anti-censorship Messenger service

A new chat tool has been launched in an effort to improve the security of online messaging.

Tor Messenger allows users to chat over the Tor (The Onion Router) network in a way which hides the location of participants.

It means that the contents of messages will only be visible to the participants.

The service will also work with platforms like Facebook even in countries where they are banned.

The tool is currently in beta and will undergo security tests.

Users wishing to remain anonymous or access chat clients blocked in their own country could use Tor Messenger to chat via services like Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Twitter, Yahoo and Internet Relay Chat.

The program does not communicate via what’s often called the “dark web”, a collection of hidden websites and services, but rather by sending messages across a series of internet relays (or routers) so that their origin cannot be tracked.

These relays are called “bridges”.

Bypassing blocks

“They’re computers run by volunteers and in a censored area your computer will connect to these,” explained Steven Murdoch, a security researcher at University College London who has worked on Tor projects.

“Those services are not publicly listed anywhere – they should not be blocked even if access to the Tor network is blocked.”

In addition, messages may be encrypted to provide additional security. This feature is enabled by default, though both parties in a one-to-one chat would have to have off-the-record encryption (OTR) set up.

This requires the two parties to exchange a secret key which is needed to decode the messages they send to each other.

Interest in privacy

“At the end of the day some people really do need privacy and security so this would be important to them,” commented Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group.

He also told the BBC that he imagined the tool, once audited, could be used by whistleblowers, individuals wanting to complain about corruption or sources desiring to speak to journalists anonymously about a story.

“I think it shows the worries people have that chats and other clients are being snooped on,” he added.

Dr Murdoch also made the point that while the service was still being tested, it shouldn’t be used by those who have serious security concerns.

“It’s good for people to experiment with but not if you’ve got serious security requirements yet,” he told the BBC.

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South Korean telco proclaims it will be world’s first 5G network operator

SK Telecom opens a fifth-generation mobile network research facility in South Korea, where it claimed it would be the first operator of a 5G service.

South Koreans currently enjoy the world’s fastest Internet speeds, so it makes sense that they would be the first to get a fifth-generation mobile network, aka 5G.

SK Telecom, the country’s most widely used mobile carrier, on Thursday declared it would be the world’s first operator of a 5G network as it opened the doors of the 5G Playground, a facility dedicated to researching the nascent service, The Korea Herald reports.

Following 4G LTE, 5G is the next significant update to wireless Internet connectivity. SK reportedly demonstrated speeds of up to 19.1 gigabits per second, nearly 1,000 times faster than the 25 megabits-per-second in which 4G LTE users in South Korea currently luxuriate. That 5G speed would let you download a 2GB movie in fractions of a second.

“SKT will spare no efforts to achieve the world’s first commercialisation of the 5G network,” CTO Choi Jin-sung said at the opening of the Playground.

At the opening of the centre, which was launched in conjunction with tech giants Samsung Electronics, Nokia, Intel, telco infrastructure provider Ericsson and electronics firm Rhode & Schwartz, SK Telecom said it would have a test network running by 2017. That’s ahead of a globally standardised, commercially usable network by 2020.

But SK Telecom isn’t the only telco with its eyes on 5G. If it wants to be the world’s first 5G operator it’ll have to beat Verizon Wireless in the US, which is on track to begin testing its fifth-gen network next year and have some degree of commercial availability in 2017. Australia’s Telstra has pegged 2020 as the year for the commercial launch of its 5G network.

According to Verizon, 5G will offer a connection speed 30 to 50 times faster than the US’ current 4G LTE network. Meanwhile, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg in January said he expected 5G to power a proliferation of Internet of Things gadgets, items that make use of Internet connectivity, due to the network’s ability to interact uniquely with different types of devices.

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Mark Zuckerberg: net neutrality is a first-world problem

Facebook founder says some net neutrality advocates go too far when they criticise efforts to bring internet to developing countries

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has hit out at net neutrality advocates who claim that zero-rating – the practice of offering access to certain popular online services for free – should be prohibited.

Hosting a townhall Q&A session at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi earlier today, Mr Zuckerberg emphasised Facebook’s support for net neutrality – the principle that all websites should be equally accessible.

He said that Facebook supports regulation that prevents internet service providers from charging users for access to certain content, or from giving their own services an unfair advantage over rival services.

“That’s the kind of thing you can see hurts people, and you want net neutrality regulations in place that are going to prevent that,” he said.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg addresses the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi

He also said that the company’s Internet.org initiative – which provides free access to a selection of web services including Facebook, Google Search, Wikipedia, AccuWeather and BBC News via a mobile app – is built on an open platform, with no throttling or filtering.

However, in the case of zero-rating, he said that some people take the principle of net neutrality too far.

“When you have a student who is getting free access to the internet to help do her homework, and she wouldn’t have had access otherwise, who’s getting hurt there? We want that. There should be more of that,” he said.

“If there’s a fisherman in a village who now has some free access to the internet to help sell some of his fish and provide for his family, no one gets hurt by that. And that’s good. We need to get everyone on the internet.”

He added that most of the people that are pushing for net neutrality have access to the internet already.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg addresses the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi

“I see these petitions going around about net neutrality and that’s great, we need to mobilise on the internet on this stuff. But the people who are not yet on the internet cannot sign an online petition pushing for increased access to the internet,” he said.

“We all have a moral responsibility to look out for people who do not have the internet and make sure that the rules that benefit us, and make sure that operators can’t do anything that hurts us, don’t get twisted to hurt people that don’t have a voice.”

Mr Zuckerberg’s comments come after the European Parliament voted in favour of a proposal that aims to protect “net neutrality”.

As well as ensuring that internet providers offer a clear explanation of what download and upload speeds customers can expect, the legislation allows them to create “fast lanes” where websites can pay to have their content delivered more quickly.

It also allows zero-rating, which some legal experts and net neutrality advocates warn could allow companies like Facebook to become a monopoly, with other services eating up significantly more of mobile web users’ data allowances.

“Around the world, all the regulations that are put in place are basically honouring this principle – so good net neutrality provisions, blocking things that operators might do that hurt people, but also prioritising things like zero-rating that are necessary for making sure that we can connect everyone to the internet,” said Mr Zuckerberg.

“Just this week the EU released rules on net neutrality and zero rating where again they put in place some net neutrality rules, but were very clear that zero rating and things that provide some free access to the internet are clear to go. They’re going to be regulated separately and are not prohibited by any of the net neutrality regulations.”

Earlier this year, a group of Indian technology and internet companies pulled out of the Internet.org initiative, claiming that it threatened net neutrality.

Travel portal Cleartrip.com and media giant Times Group both announced that they would be withdrawing from the service, citing competition fears, and Times Group also called on other publishers to do the same.

The Internet.org app is currently available in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Colombia and parts of India. However, Facebook plans to expand the service, with Mr Zuckerberg promising to make it available wherever people need to be connected.

As well as the app, the Internet.org partnership is also looking at providing internet access in places that are currently unconnected using solar-powered drones, which can beam down laser-guided internet signals from the sky.

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