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WhatsApp Launches Proxy Server to Combat Internet Censorship and Bypass Blocks

WhatsApp, the popular messaging app owned by Facebook, has recently announced the launch of a proxy server in an effort to combat internet censorship in certain countries. The move follows the Iranian government’s decision to block access to the app in September, in response to protests that swept the country. The proxy server will allow users to bypass internet blocks and access WhatsApp in countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, Qatar, and Syria, where the app is currently banned.

What is a proxy server and how does it work?

A proxy server is a computer that acts as an intermediary between a client computer and the internet. When a client computer requests access to a webpage or other online resource, the request is sent to the proxy server. The proxy server then sends the request to the internet on behalf of the client computer, retrieves the requested resource, and sends it back to the client computer.

This process has several benefits. For one, it allows users to access websites and other online resources that may be blocked by their internet service provider or government. It also helps to protect the privacy of users by masking their IP address and location, as the proxy server’s IP address is the one that is visible to the website or online resource being accessed.

Why is WhatsApp using a proxy server?

As mentioned, WhatsApp is using a proxy server to allow users in countries with strict censorship or internet blocks to access the app. The company has stated that its goal is to “fight for your right to communicate freely and privately,” and that the proxy is more important than ever as communities around the world have encountered internet shutdowns and been denied access to the app.

In September, protests spread across Iran following the arrest of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by the morality police for “unsuitable attire.” Amini later died in custody, with police claiming that she had suffered sudden heart failure. Her death sparked widespread protests and resulted in internet shutdowns. The Iranian government responded by banning WhatsApp and Instagram, in addition to Facebook and Twitter, which had already been banned in the country since 2009.

By using a proxy server, WhatsApp hopes to give users in countries like Iran a way to bypass internet blocks and continue to use the app, even if access to it has been restricted by their government. The company has stated that it is “putting the power into people’s hands to maintain access to WhatsApp if their connection is blocked or disrupted,” and that it hopes the solution will help people wherever there is a need for secure and reliable communication.

Privacy and security concerns

One concern that may arise with the use of a proxy server is the potential for third parties to access users’ data and messages. WhatsApp has stated, however, that the proxy servers will not have access to users’ data and messages, and that the company will continue to use end-to-end encryption on the app to protect users’ privacy and security.

Also, the proxy support will be available worldwide and will be set up by volunteers and organizations, with the goal of providing the same level of privacy and security that users have come to expect from WhatsApp.

Generally speaking, WhatsApp’s decision to launch a proxy server is a response to internet censorship and internet shutdowns in certain countries. By using a proxy server, WhatsApp hopes to give users in these countries a way to bypass internet blocks and access the app, even if it has been restricted by their government. The proxy server will be available worldwide and will be set up by volunteers and organizations, with the goal of providing the same level of privacy and security that users have come to expect from WhatsApp. While concerns about privacy and security may arise, the company has stated that the proxy servers will not have access to users’ data and messages and that it will continue to use end-to-end encryption on the app to protect users’ privacy and security.

The proxy server serves as an important tool for fighting censorship and allowing users in countries with strict internet controls to maintain access to the app and the rest of the uncensored internet. It is a step towards ensuring that people around the world have the ability to communicate freely and privately, and it is a positive development for those who rely on the app to stay connected to loved ones in the face of internet shutdowns and other forms of censorship.

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