BRAZIL BLOCKED WHATSAPP
In the month of may,02 Brazil has blocked the Whatsapp messenger. Due to this more than 100million whatsapp users were suffered from this Block.
This action was taken by a judge from the state of Sergipe ordered all mobile carriers across Brazil to block Whatsapp. This Block was due to the reason that whatsapp didn’t supports the police and provide information to them during the investigation.
This action continues upto 72hours in Brazil. The order applied to the five major wireless carriers in Brazil.
While investigating an organized crime of drug trafficking, the police requested whatsapp to revile information about the user but whatsapp refused to do it.
They asked to revile the conversation between the users and location of the group. The officials did not hear back from Whatsapp when they first contacted them.
But the officials refused to cooperate with the investigation.
However, WhatsApp representatives stated that they did not possess any information. WhatsApp clarified that due to the end-to-end encryption on messages it is not possible for them to read or recover a user’s conversations.
They said the conversation can be read only by the receiver and sender. The security is that even whatsapp officials can’t able to read the user messages.
Officials of the company also made it clear that since the service is popular worldwide, they cannot lift the encryption in future as it would compromise the safety and security of billions of its users.
The decision by the court has affected the users more than the company. People who depended on the service were deeply disappointed.
HOW TOR CAN TRACK THE IMPACT OF THE BLOCK?
The censorship, however, could not prevent people from accessing the service. Popular software named Tor allowed the users to bypass the ban when mobile carriers blocked the access throughout the entire country.
Orbot, a Tor proxy tool help people overcome the censorship on Android mobile phones.
Tor is free software that allows its users to visit websites anonymously without the possibility of their online activity being tracked.
Comparison of data, showing the use of Tor before and during the ban will unveil if the software was successful to overcome the block.
The tools that the Tor project use not only helps to know if a block is in effect, but it also shows if the people used the tool to circumvent the censorship.
Tor project called OONI or Open Observatory of Network Interference run some tests on Brazil’s mobile carriers during the ban.
Its main focus is detecting traffic surveillance and censorship detection and manipulation.
Data collected by the project helped to analyze the mechanism of the censorship and if tools such as Tor can bypass the block.
As soon as the blockage was announced, Tor promoted tips to help people bypass the block using Orbot on Android.
The data showed a massive increase in the download of Tor on the day of the ban. The number of users of Tor increased drastically within 24 hours.
This information proved that Tor was indeed successful in circumventing the ban without being tracked.
However, the awareness of the software still needs to be raised, as most people still do not know anything about this.