Iran blocks Signal messaging app after WhatsApp exodus

Iran’s government has moved to block Signal after Iranians flocked to the messaging platform following privacy concerns from Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

Starting on Monday, Iran-based users reported issues in connecting to the open-source Signal, which has been chosen by many as a more secure way of encrypted communication since a new privacy policy issued by WhatsApp earlier this month brought more scrutiny on the app’s data collection practices.

In a tweet, Signal said it has been “working around Iran’s censorship” since the app became the top downloaded content on Iranian app stores.

“Unable to stop registration, the IR censors are now dropping all Signal traffic,” the tweet said. “Iranian people deserve privacy. We haven’t given up.”

On January 14, Signal was ordered removed from Cafe Bazaar, Iran’s version of Google Play, and Myket, another well-known local app store.

“We thank you for understanding our limitations,” a message greeted Iranians who wished to download Signal.

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