Wickr, a private, secure messaging company, has teamed up with Psiphon (previously), a spinout from Citizen Lab (previously) to allow its users to communicate even when they are behind national firewalls.
Messaging platforms had long used "domain fronting" -- whereby secure messaging traffic was undetectably mixed in with traffic from Amazon, Google and others -- to beat national firewalls, but these were largely discontinued by the major platforms in the face of threats of censorship by authoritarian governments.
Wickr proposes using Psiphon (which uses a variety of techniques to circumvent censorship) as an alternative to domain fronting, initially rolling it out for paid business users, with a promise to extend the feature to all users in the near future.
But adopting a measure for corporate customers can also benefit ordinary users. Wickr is deploying the Psiphon network functionality to its enterprise customers immediately, but over the next several weeks the company will roll it out to paying Pro and free users as well, Lalonde said. Free users will have a lower bandwidth of use, and the feature is not enabled by default, with users deciding when to switch it on, he added.
After Google and Amazon Drop Anti-Censorship Support, Wickr Steps In [Joseph Cox/Motherboard]
(Disclosure: I am an advisor to Wickr)
Citizen Lab has expanded its analysis of how censorship and filtering work on Chinese social media (previously). In (Can’t) Picture This 2 An Analysis of WeChat’s Realtime Image Filtering in Chats , researchers probe and document how Wechat complies with Chinese state censorship policies in private chats.
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