Offline messaging app Bridgefy mentioned it was downloaded greater than 1 million instances in Myanmar after the nation’s army seized energy on Monday and quickly disrupted web visitors.
The Mexican startup, which gained recognition 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 had been arrested, telephone and web connections had been disrupted in the principle metropolis Yangon and the capital Naypyitaw and another elements of the nation.
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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.
CEO Jorge Rios informed Reuters that between Monday to Tuesday night the app had been downloaded greater than 1.1 million instances. The nation has an estimated 22 million social media customers.
Bridgefy, whose backers embody Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and which has additionally been used at anti-government rallies in Thailand, is one in all a number of apps based mostly on Bluetooth that use mesh networks to permit customers to speak with out web connections.
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They’ve gained recognition globally, particularly in nations which have a historical past of imposing restrictions on social media platforms and web suppliers – although safety consultants are involved they are often penetrated, exposing customers to surveillance dangers.
In response to a query from Reuters, Bridgefy mentioned it had improved its safety procedures and encrypted direct messages between customers.
Different apps that use comparable applied sciences embody goTenna and Briar, whereas the now-defunct Bluetooth Firechat app was utilized in previous protests in Iran and Iraq.