WhatsApp introduced a new feature to help people circumvent government-imposed Internet shutdowns- Technology News, Firstpost

One of the most widely used messaging platforms worldwide, WhatsApp is a vital application for many people across the world. However, many governments across the world, often suppress the app and the way it is used in emergencies, by shutting down the internet. As a result in several areas across the world, the moment there is any unrest, the first thing that governments do, is to shut the app off, by switching the internet off. Now though, WhatsApp is working on a feature that will allow users to use the app, even when there’s a government-imposed internet shutdown.

WhatsApp introduced a new feature to help people circumvent government-imposed Internet shutdowns

Based on what Iran and other autocratic countries do when there is an unrest, WhatsApp’s new feature will allow the service to remain functional, even when governments impose an internet shutdown

Users will soon be able to connect to WhatsApp using a proxy server. For those unfamiliar, a proxy works as a third layer between the user and the internet. It can be used to ensure better security and privacy when browsing the web.

Proxy server functionality for WhatsApp will enable users to use the service even in nations where it is restricted. According to the firm, individuals and groups “committed to aiding others in communicating freely” can set up their own servers. Additionally, WhatsApp emphasises that communications transmitted via a proxy server will continue to be end-to-end encrypted.

Connecting via proxy maintains the high level of privacy and security that WhatsApp provides. Your personal messages will still be protected by end-to-end encryption — ensuring they stay between you and the person you’re communicating with and are not visible to anyone in between, not the proxy servers, WhatsApp, or Meta.

The move comes after Iran’s local administration last year barred access to Instagram and WhatsApp because demonstrators had used both services to spread information about human rights abuses. Unfortunately, incidents like these continue to occur often around the world. WhatsApp claims that the organisation is making efforts to ensure that these internet shutdowns do not impact such powerful and important movements.

For those interested in building their own proxy server for friends and family, WhatsApp has also made a tutorial accessible. Users may access the new feature by visiting WhatsApp’s Storage and Date settings. Proxy server support is now being rolled out for iPhone and Android users, so make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed.

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