June 25, 2014
Iraqis use 'off grid' messaging app
Iraqis have been turning to an app which allows group messages to be sent between phones, without the need for an internet connection, in an effort to circumnavigate government restrictions. The BBC reports.
About 40,000 users downloaded Firechat last week, compared with 6,600 over the previous few months, the company says.
The internet has been blocked in some Iraqi provinces, as authorities seek to prevent militants from communicating. Access to social media sites has also been severely restricted.
Firechat allows users to take part in group chats with between two and 10,000 people, without the need for an internet connection.
Using a technology known as "mesh networking". A mesh network allows a single connection to the net to be shared between multiple devices, many of which can be removed without the network failing. The devices can still chat to each other even if the net connection is severed.
Firechat does not have access to the content of the messages. However, discussions are not private, and can be seen by anyone in the area.
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