WhatsApp Comes With Proxy for Circumventing Censorship

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Messaging service WhatsApp has added a function that should make it possible to continue sending messages at times when a government blocks the service.

 

WhatsApp gets support for proxies. Meta, the parent company of the messaging service, has announced this. This function should make it possible for users to run their own servers and still be able to communicate via the app when the service itself is not working. This is possible, for example, when a government blocks the service.

“We are putting the power in the hands of the people to continue accessing WhatsApp when their connection is blocked or interrupted,” WhatsApp writes in a blog post. The concept is not new in itself and has been in, for example, the privacy-focused messaging app Signal for a while.

However, volunteers must be able to run native instances of the service on their servers to circumvent any censorship. According to WhatsApp, the proxy service does not change the actual encryption of the messages, and the hosts of the proxy server will not be able to view your messages.

Blocking messaging services such as Twitter, WhatsApp, and others are increasingly happening worldwide to counter street protests or other forms of citizen protest. The most famous recent example can be found in Iran, where WhatsApp was blocked at the start of the demonstrations following the death of Mahsa Amini. Citizens have been protesting against the conservative government there for months.

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