Signal Messaging app Reportedly Under Attack From Iranian Authorities
January 27, 2021 12:52 PM
Signal messaging app is an independent nonprofit and privacy center platform, it has been reported that Signal is under attack from the Iranian authorities as it continues to amass new users to it's platform amid speculation that the government already has access to users information on other messaging apps in the country.
In a recent report by Al Jazeera, many users of the privacy-focused messaging app in Iran have reported being unable to connect since Signal was ranked top position at the Google Play Store this month in Iran.
Iranian app stores such as Myket and cafe Bazaar have previously removed the signal app from its platform. In a tweet made a day ago, Signal claimed:
"Ever since Signal simultaneously hit number 1 on the Play Store and number 1 on the Iranian government's block list, we've been working around censorship.
Unable to stop registration, the IR sensors are now dropping all Signal traffic.
Iranian people deserve privacy. We haven't given up."
The report asserts that a committee of Iranian officials tasked with identifying "criminal content" has tagged Signal as a threat. Nonetheless, a government spokesman also claimed the judiciary had not "blocked any media, news outlet or messaging service" in Iran and had no intentions of doing so.
Digital rights researcher Amir Rashidi echoed this sentiment in the Al Jazeera report on Iran attempt to shut down Signal:
“Traditionally, whenever the Iranian government can’t figure out what is going on or who is doing what, they fear maybe people are doing something against the government."
This move is not the first time Iran authorities have tried to block the privacy-focused messaging app, Iran attempted to block Telegram in 2018 amid users sharing violent reactions to protesters from authorities, many Iranians have been able to bypass these restrictions using VPNs.
The app is still widely used in the country under these conditions, but privacy remains a concern as rumors continue to circulate in Iran the government may even have access to the Telegram messaging app.
Human Rights Foundation Alex Gladstein opined that people living under a dictatorship is most likely to need privacy, "as a way to stay safe from police surveillance."