Join gaming leaders, alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 this upcoming January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event. 


Open Whisper Systems, the company that makes the Signal encrypted messaging app and that contributed to the encryption in Facebook-owned WhatsApp, today updated its Signal app for Android with the ability to avoid being censored in two more countries: Cuba and Oman.

Last week the company did something similar in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates after learning that people in those countries had problems using the app. People need to have country codes enabled to access this feature.

Signal uses a method called domain fronting to make it harder for the app to be crippled. As Open Whisper Systems’ Moxie Marlinspike explained in a December 22 blog post:

Many popular services and CDNs, such as Google, Amazon Cloudfront, Amazon S3, Azure, CloudFlare, Fastly, and Akamai can be used to access Signal in ways that look indistinguishable from other uncensored traffic. The idea is that to block the target traffic, the censor would also have to block those entire services. With enough large scale services acting as domain fronts, disabling Signal starts to look like disabling the internet.

The Tor browser also employs this approach, as Bruce Schneier pointed out earlier this week.

The Signal app for iOS doesn’t have censorship circumvention for Cuba and Oman yet, but it got the feature for Egypt and United Arab Emirates after it rolled out on Android, so the same thing should happen here.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member