Meta Platforms Inc’s WhatsApp said users of the messaging app will be able to use proxy servers to access the service in countries where the app is blocked.
A proxy server is an intermediary between users and web services and acts as a web filter that allow netizens to circumvent restrictions and censorship.
WhatsApp in a blog post said proxy support on the app is now officially available for users with the latest version.
Users in countries such as Iran and Syria have used virtual private network (VPN) services to navigate around internet censorship.
A VPN connection establishes a secure connection between you and the internet. Via the VPN, all your data traffic is routed through an encrypted virtual tunnel. This disguises your IP address when you use the internet, making its location invisible to everyone. A VPN connection is also secure against external attacks.
“In case these shutdowns continue, we hope this solution helps people wherever there is a need for secure and reliable communication,” the messaging service said.
WhatsApp will do anything within its technical capacity to keep the service accessible and that it was not blocking Iranian phone numbers, the messaging service said in September.
Iran restricted access to Meta’s Instagram and WhatsApp after unrest broke out in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for unsuitable attire.
WhatsApp has 2266.62 million unique users as of June 2022. WhatsApp is the most popular global mobile messenger app worldwide with approximately two billion monthly active users, outranking WeChat at 1.2 billion users, and Facebook Messenger at 988 million global users.