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WhatsApp just made it harder to censor citizens with Internet shutdowns

Report says 710 million people were impacted by Internet shutdowns in 2022.

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Enlarge (credit: SOPA Images / Contributor | LightRocket)

To ring in the new year, WhatsApp introduced a new feature to help people circumvent government-imposed Internet shutdowns that the United Nations said last summer work to undermine human rights.

“To help, today we’re launching proxy support for WhatsApp users all over the world,” WhatsApp’s statement said. “What this means is we’re putting the power into people’s hands to maintain access to WhatsApp if their connection is blocked or disrupted.”

WhatsApp’s new proxy support feature enables users to “connect to WhatsApp through servers set up by volunteers and organizations around the world dedicated to helping people communicate freely.” It also allows users to set up their own proxy servers to help others connect to the app. The feature is currently available to all users running the most updated version of the app.

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