WhatsApp will allow users to connect to the messaging app through proxy servers for the first time, allowing users to stay online even when an internet outage or block occurs.
The website, owned by Meta, said it made the decision in response to internet blackouts seen in Iran in recent months, which the company says “deny people their human rights and deny people access to urgent care.”
A new feature in WhatsApp settings will allow users to enter a proxy server name and use it to connect to the Internet.
Proxy servers work as alternative gateways between the user and the Internet when traditional communication methods and servers have been disabled or disabled, providing the necessary connection between the user and the website or service they wish to access.
WhatsApp said many were created by volunteers and organizations around the world to help people “communicate freely,” and the company will also offer guidance to people on how to create a proxy to help others.
“Connecting through a proxy maintains the same high level of privacy and security that WhatsApp provides,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.
“Your private messages will still be protected by end-to-end encryption, ensuring that they remain between you and the person you are communicating with and are not visible between them, not to proxy servers, WhatsApp or Meta.
“Our wish for 2023 is that these internet outages never happen.
“The kind of disruptions we’ve seen in Iran for months are denying people their human rights and denying people access to urgent aid.
“Even if these outages continue, we hope this solution will help people everywhere who need secure and reliable communications.”