WhatsApp is one of the most widely used messaging platforms worldwide and a vital application for many people around the world. However, many governments around the world often suppress the app and the way it is used in emergencies by shutting down the internet. As a result, the first thing governments do in several areas around the world the moment unrest breaks out is shutting down the app by cutting off the internet. Now, however, WhatsApp is working on a feature that would allow users to use the app even when there is a government-imposed internet shutdown.
Users will soon be able to connect to WhatsApp via a proxy server. For those unfamiliar, a proxy acts as a third layer between the user and the internet. It can be used to ensure better security and privacy while browsing the web.
The proxy server functionality for WhatsApp allows users to use the service even in countries where it is restricted. According to the company, individuals and groups “dedicated to helping others communicate freely” can set up their own servers. In addition, WhatsApp emphasizes that communications transmitted via a proxy server will continue to be end-to-end encrypted.
The connection via proxy maintains the high level of privacy and security that WhatsApp offers. Your personal messages are still protected with end-to-end encryption, ensuring they stay between you and the person you’re communicating with and not visible to anyone in between, not the proxy servers, WhatsApp or Meta .
The move comes after Iran’s local government blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp last year because protesters had used both services to spread information about human rights abuses. Unfortunately, incidents like this continue to occur frequently around the world. WhatsApp claims the organization is making efforts to ensure these internet shutdowns do not impact such powerful and important movements.
WhatsApp has also made a tutorial available for those interested in building your own proxy server for friends and family. Users can access the new feature by going to WhatsApp’s storage and date settings. Proxy server support is now rolling out for iPhone and Android users, so make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed.
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