Meta-owned popular messaging app WhatsApp announced on Thursday that it will now allow users to use proxy servers set up by volunteers and organizations to access the app in regions where it is blocked.
‘’Happy New Year! While many of us celebrated by texting our loved ones on WA, there are millions of people in Iran and elsewhere who continue to be denied the right to communicate freely and privately,’’ WhatsApp’s CEO Will Catchart wrote in a tweet on Thursday. ‘’So today we’re making it easier for anyone to connect to WA using a proxy.’’
In a blog post, the company said that everyone using the app’s latest version can now access the feature in the settings menu.
It also launched a support page for those who’d like to learn more about how to use the new feature, and a detailed guide for volunteers and organizations on how they can set up a proxy server.
Iran restricted access to WhatsApp and Instagram in September when nationwide protests started in the country.
‘’Our wish for 2023 is that these internet shutdowns never occur,’’ the company wrote in the blog post. ‘’Disruptions like we’ve seen in Iran for months on end deny people’s human rights and cut people off from receiving urgent help. Though in case these shutdowns continue, we hope this solution helps people wherever there is a need for secure and reliable communication.’’