WhatsApp upgraded proxy feature against internet shutdown

Meta's WhatsApp has released an update to its proxy feature, which allows for more flexibility in the content that can be shared in conversations.

by Vikash Kumawat
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WhatsApp told The Hacker News that this includes the ability to send and receive images, voice notes, files, stickers and GIFs. The new features were first reported by BBC Persian.

Some other improvements include the introduction of Shareable Links to “share working/valid proxy addresses to their contacts for easy and automated installation” along with streamlined steps to simplify the setup process.

Support for proxy servers was officially launched by the messaging service earlier this January, helping users avoid government-imposed censorship and internet shutdowns and gain indirect access to WhatsApp.

The company also made available a reference implementation for setting up a proxy server with port 80, 443 or 5222 available and a domain name that points to the server’s IP address.

proxy

WhatsApp said, “A proxy server is an intermediary gateway between WhatsApp and external servers.” “Users can search for trusted accounts on social media that regularly post verified proxy addresses, which they can add to their WhatsApp accounts.”

Internet shutdowns have become common around the world in times of crisis, conflict, sectarian violence, and to prevent cheating in exams. Authorities in 35 countries forecast at least 187 internet shutdowns in 2022, with the number reaching 80 in the first five months of 2023.

India alone enforced 84 shutdowns in 2022, making it the leading democratic country to intentionally enforce shutdowns for the fifth year in a row.

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