WhatsApp launches a new feature to bypass blocks

WhatsApp messaging announced on Thursday, January 5, the implementation of a new censorship circumvention tool, designed primarily for countries that temporarily or permanently filter access to WhatsApp.

Countries that restrict access to WhatsApp typically block access to the app’s servers, which prevents users from sending or receiving messages. WhatsApp will integrate in the next few days an option allowing to choose, manually, a proxy server, that is to say a server which acts as an intermediary and automatically relays the data to the servers of WhatsApp. Since these proxy servers have a different address than WhatsApp, they are more difficult for censors to identify and block.

Blockages in Iran

“Connecting through a proxy server maintains the high level of privacy and security offered by WhatsApp. Personal messages will always be protected by end-to-end encryption, which means that they will remain between the people communicating and no one else will be able to see them, not even WhatsApp or Meta proxy servers”, writes WhatsApp. Both individuals and non-governmental organizations can create proxy servers directly.

This new feature seems to have been specifically designed for Iranian users of the application. WhatsApp like Instagram (both owned by Meta Group) are stuck in the country since the beginning of the demonstrations against the power, at the end of 2022. Rare fact, the country is specifically mentioned by WhatsApp in its press release, which evokes the cuts of access in Iran which “violate human rights by preventing the population from receiving urgent aid”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers From Tehran to London, in the trenches of the information war against the Iranian regime

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