According to a TechCrunch report this week, Facebook is in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, a company that manufactures solar-powered drones that can fly for five years without needing to land. The site’s interest in the company is speculative at this point, though it’s assumed Facebook wants the technology for the Internet.org initiative, which aims to bring affordable Internet access to all corners of the world.
The drones would likely be deployed over regions of the world like Africa that largely lack an Internet connectivity infrastructure. The machines would function much like satellites, according to TechCrunch, except with more functionality, like monitoring weather patterns, facilitating disaster recovery and assisting in communications. According to the report, all of Titan Aerospace’s production would exclusively go toward Internet.org endeavors if and when the company is purchased by Facebook.
While there is a charitable goal for Internet.org, Facebook also has its eyes on long-term Internet domination. The more they can be responsible for bringing the web to every corner of the world, the more Facebook will become a part of the very fabric of the web itself. For a site that always tiptoes on the line of upsetting users with its privacy policies, their interest in acquiring a drone company is sure to set off another round of criticism and concern in the Internet community.