Wikipedia goes data-free in Iraq

Mobile internet is available everywhere but the price can be expensive. As part of the Wikipedia Zero scheme that has operated in 59 countries around the world since 2012, the organization has announced that Access to Wikipedia will not incur mobile data charges to customers of the Asiacell mobile phone provider in Iraq

The community curated content website says it wants to “bring the sum of human knowledge” to as many people as possible by removing one of the biggest hurdles to access to knowledge: data charges.

However some argue that projects such as this go against the principles of net neutrality.

“Net neutrality is the principle that all data are treated equally in the network,” said Joe McNamee, executive director of the European Digital Rights group. “Treating data the same in the network but then making some data more economically advantageous outside the network would be considered by many to be a breach of this principle.”

Wikipedia, in its website, reports that carriers get the IP addresses of sites that will be zero-rated so that they can identify Wikipedia Zero traffic. Additionally, Wikipedia Zero does not enable carriers to collect or receive personal information about Wikimedia users.  It does not pay mobile phone providers who sign up to the programme and they do not get any editorial control over the platform.

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