The service, which gives users in rural and low-income communities limited access to sites on the Internet, was suspended in Egypt on December 30 last year. At the time, the government said that it was only a temporary permit but sources "with direct knowledge of discussions between Facebook and the Egyptian government" tell Reuters that "the company would not allow the government to circumvent the service's security to conduct surveillance."
Facebook did not comment to Reuters on the allegations, only confirming that almost 3 million people in the country used Free Basics before the program was suspended. The Egyptian government didn't address the spying claims directly, but a spokesperson said "The [Free Basics] service was offered free of charge to the consumer, and the national telecommunication regulator saw the service as harmful to companies and their competitors." (by Michael Grothaus) MB