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This Offline Messaging App Was Downloaded 600,000 Times After Myanmar Coup

Offline messaging app Bridgefy stated it was downloaded greater than 600,000 instances in a couple of hours in Myanmar, after the nation’s navy seized energy on Monday and briefly disrupted Internet visitors.

The Mexico-based startup, which gained reputation throughout Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in 2020, tweeted that it hoped folks in Myanmar would discover its app “useful during tough times.”

After the nation’s democratically elected leaders have been arrested, cellphone and web connections have been disrupted in the principle metropolis Yangon and the capital Naypyitaw and another components of the nation.

Communications had been restored by late Monday however, in social media posts seen by Reuters, activists in Myanmar inspired the obtain of Bridgefy as an answer to doable additional shutdowns.

Bridgefy, whose backers embrace Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and which has additionally been used at anti-government rallies in Thailand, is one among a number of apps based mostly on Bluetooth that use mesh networks to permit customers to speak with out Internet connections.

They have gained reputation globally, particularly in nations which have a historical past of imposing restrictions on social media platforms and web suppliers – although safety consultants say they are often penetrated, exposing customers to surveillance dangers.

An identical app, Firechat, has been utilized in protests in Iran and Iraq.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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