Internet.org Platform Is Live; App, Website Renamed Free Basics

The Internet.org Platform is now live, and the Internet.org application and website have a new name: Free Basics.

The Internet.org Platform is now live, and the Internet.org application and website have a new name: Free Basics.

Internet.org announced that since the Internet.org Platform was introduced in May, developers have used it to integrate more than 60 new services with Internet.org in the 19 countries where it is available.

Developers interested in joining the mix can find more information here, as well as examine the updated guidelines.

As for Free Basics, the name change—which was enacted to differentiate between the Internet.org initiative itself and the programs and services it offers–also brought stronger security in the form of dual-certificate encryption. Free Basics users can now also customize which services they wish to access via a menu, and they can search available services by name or description.

Internet.org offered more details on its more robust security protocol:

With Free Basics, Internet.org is making it safer for people to connect to the websites and services they care about by encrypting information wherever possible. For example, when you use the Free Basics Android app, the traffic is encrypted end-to-end to protect your privacy unless a developer chooses to only support HTTP for their service.

Similarly, when you access the Free Basics website in a mobile browser, we use a “dual certificate” security model. The first certificate is used for traffic encrypted between your device and our servers in both directions. For services offered through Free Basics that support HTTPS, a second certificate will be used for traffic encrypted between our servers and the developer’s. We care about the security of your information, so even if the service you’re accessing only runs over HTTP, where possible, we are going to encrypt that information between our servers and any device that supports HTTPS. This change provides meaningfully more security than is available today, particularly for people who may not fully trust their Internet connection.

When you use the Free Basics mobile website, information is temporarily decrypted on our secure servers to ensure proper functionality of the services you use and to help you avoid any unexpected charges. We preserve the privacy of that information while it’s decrypted by only storing the domain name of the service you visit and the amount of data being used—the same information that would be visible using end-to-end encryption—as well as cookies that are stored in an encrypted and unreadable format.

Readers: What do you think of the new developments at Internet.org?

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