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- Google's Jigsaw introduces technology to bypass online censorship.
- The new software allows apps to integrate VPN capabilities directly.
- This comes as a response to increased censorship actions, especially noted in Iran.
A response to increasing censorship in Iran
Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Google focusing on internet freedom, has been at the forefront with its array of anti-censorship tools, most notably Outline. This tool allows users to access the internet in an encrypted manner, free of charge, and makes it challenging for authorities to detect and subsequently block, writes MIT Technology Review.
Back in September 2022, in light of the protests instigated by Mahsa Amini's killing, Iran's government started intermittent internet blackouts, leaving citizens in a lurch. Searching for an alternative, many Iranians turned to VPNs, especially Outline. The daily user count surged by 1,500 percent during this period.
However, the sophisticated methods employed by the Iranian government during the pro-democracy protests proved a hurdle even for tools like Outline.
Allowing apps to incorporate censorship-resistant capabilities
The response from Google is to Jigsaw's new software developer kit (SDK), allowing apps to incorporate the censorship-resistant capabilities directly.
The kit extracts the most effective components of the Outline technology, allowing developers to integrate the same into their apps. This paves the way for a more synchronized response against potential censorship actions.
Balatarin, a platform similar to Reddit but in Persian, is among the first to adopt this SDK, aiming to integrate VPN capabilities right into its mobile app. With this, users can bypass the cumbersome process of activating a separate VPN, enhancing user experience.
Please check out essay on non-violent resistance, using modern technology.
News tips: Tony Morley