Facebook Inc (FB) Partners with Tor to Bypass Government Censors in China, Iran and Elsewhere


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Mark Zuckerberg surely isn’t one to avoid controversy when he believes strongly in something. Zuckerberg, has made it known that he is no fan government cencorship. He believes that the world should have access to whatever information they wish to retrieve from the internet, and his service, Facebook, is no exception.

Now Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has teamed with Tor, a free software that helps individuals surf the web anonymously and confidentially, to bring their app to government censored nations such as China and Iran. Although Facebook isn’t coming out and saying that their new app’s main attribute is circumventing international censorship, it certainly is a big part of it. Users will now be able to select the option “Facebook over Tor” and then turn on a selection called “Use Tor via Orbot”. That’s all there is to it, and users will then be able to access the Facebook app anonymously through an encrypted connection.

“It’s really about making the experience better for people who are already connecting to Facebook over Tor,” Facebook spokeswoman Melanie Ensign explained.

We don’t believe it for a second though. It appears as though this move is to grab a share of Chinese and Iranian traffic which combines for an incredible 1.4 billion people that might just want to use Facebook. The stock is down 3.23% or $3.08 following the news, hitting $92.18 per share. About 44.49 million shares traded hands or 76.90% up from the average. FB has risen 18.03% since June 15, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 26.90%.

From a total of 33 analysts covering Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock, 32 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 0 a “Hold”. This means that 97% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $155.0 while the lowest target price is $88. The mean of all analyst targets is $122.77 which is 33.19% above today’s ($92.18) stock price. Facebook was the topic of 59 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Argus Research maintained shares on November 6 with a “Buy” rating. Morgan Stanley maintained shares with a”Overweight” rating and a $120 target share price in their report from a November 5. Canaccord Genuity maintained FB stock in a recent report from November 5 with a “Buy” rating. Credit Suisse maintained the rating on November 5. Credit Suisse has a “Outperform” rating and a $135 price target on shares. Finally, Jefferies maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a November 5.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.73 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.01, from 1.72 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 69 funds sold all their Facebook Inc shares they owned while 375 reduced their positions. 126 funds bought stakes while 643 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 1.55 billion shares which is 2.48% more than the previous share count of 1.51 billion in 2015Q2.

Millennium Tvp Management Co. Llc holds 52.76% of its total portfolio in Facebook Inc, equating to 639,552 shares. Parametric Risk Advisors Llc owns 7.97 million shares representing 46.51% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Sc Us (Ttgp) Ltd. has 41.15% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 1.04 million shares. The California-based Meritech Capital Associates Iii L.L.C. has a total of 37.81% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Duquesne Family Office Llc, a New York-based fund reported 4.09 million shares owned.

Since February 25, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 37 insider sales for a total of $168.57 million in net activity. Athwal Jas sold 30,000 shares worth $3.06 million. Stretch Colin sold 1,000 shares worth $98,710. Cox Christopher K sold 5,778 shares worth $561,622. Schroepfer Michael Todd sold 31,283 shares worth $3.00 million. The insider Fischer David B. sold 15,000 shares worth $1.43M.

Facebook, Inc. is a social networking company. The company has a market cap of $268.67 billion. The Firm is engaged in developing products that enables users to connect and share through mobile devices and personal computers. It has 92.6 P/E ratio. It offers various services focused on people, marketers and developers.