comscore WhatsApp now allows access via proxy in restricted areas: How to use the feature
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WhatsApp announces new proxy support feature to allow users to access it even during internet shutdowns

The new proxy feature will give users the ability to access WhatsApp themselves if their connection is ever blocked or interrupted."

Highlights

  • WhatsApp said proxy support on the app is now officially available for users with the latest version.
  • 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.
  • Users in countries such as Iran and Syria have used virtual private network (VPN) services to navigate around internet censorship.
whatsapp

Image: Pixabay



Meta Platforms Inc’s WhatsApp said on Thursday users of the messaging app will now be able to use proxy servers to access the service in countries where the app is blocked. These countries mainly include China, North Korea, Syria, Qatar and the UAE. As per the messaging platform blogpost, “What this means is that we are giving people the ability to access WhatsApp themselves if their connection is ever blocked or interrupted.” Also Read - How to block a contact on WhatsApp

WhatsApp introduces a new proxy feature to make it more accessible

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. Also Read - WhatsApp might soon roll out 'Report status update' feature

As for privacy, even while using proxy feature, messages will remain private and will be protected by end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp says these messages will not be accessible to anyone except the sender and the recipients, “not proxy servers, not WhatsApp, not Meta to”.

WhatsApp 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.

As per the official statement, “Our wish for 2023 is that these internet shutdowns never happen. Such blockades, as we have seen in Iran over the past several months, violate people’s human rights and prevent them from getting immediate help.”

The messaging service said, “in case these shutdowns continue, we hope this solution helps people wherever there is a need for secure and reliable communication.”

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 had 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”.

How to use the new WhatsApp proxy feature

Check out the step-by-step guide. However, make sure that you are using the latest version of the app.

  1. Open WhatsApp and open Settings from top right corner
  2. Tap on Storage & data > Proxies > Use proxy
  3. Select “Set up proxy” and enter the proxy address.
  4. Once done, Tap ‘Save’.
  5. You will see a green check once it is set up

In case you still are not receiving messages or are unable to send messages, the proxy might be banned too. You can try deleting that particular proxy and then set up a new one.

–With inputs from Reuters

  • Published Date: January 6, 2023 9:19 AM IST
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