Signal, the popular messaging service that allows users to communicate using end-to-end encryption methods is set to develop new features to defeat government censorship. Announcing the new plans, the company behind the app, Open Whispers said that it had noted that some states had developed new methods of blocking Signal.
The company was referring to recent developments in Egypt in which users have been unable to access the service for days. Reports indicate that the Egyptian government has successfully censored the popular secure messaging app in the country. Individuals who try to access the app experience snail-speed connections or outright blackout.
Open Whispers has remained silent about the possible methods that the Egyptian authorities used to block it in the country. However, the company has indicated that it is determined to develop new abilities to overcome such moves by governments in the future.
Interestingly, the company has been offering its clients in Egypt alternative methods of accessing its service. For example, it has been asking customers to use VPN services to bypass government censorship and access the service as usual. The company has also been asking its customers to use The Tor Browser, a highly formidable secure web browser, to bypass the current government restrictions and access its services.
These recent developments in Egypt come in the wake of widespread government censorship incidents in some parts of the world. In the recent past, the Turkish government engaged in what many described as unwarranted and unexpected widespread internet censorship campaigns. The government first blocked access to VPN services and the Tor Browser in the country, thus throwing millions of privacy-conscious internet users in the country into total darkness.
A few weeks later, the government attempted to restrict access to popular social network sites. It was reported that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube remained inaccessible in Turkey for the better part of Monday morning. However, new reports later indicated that the government had decided to lift restrictions on accessing social media sites in the country.
In the current case, it is not known how Signal will manage to defeat government censorship. However, many users will be eagerly waiting for the new features that Open Whispers has promised to develop and release soon. In the meantime, many users of Signal in Egypt are hoping that the Egyptian authorities will not decide to block VPN services in the country.