As the marching in Hong Kong enters its 6th month, protesters show more and more of their tech-savvy skills. The government of China had started the game by creating fake channels to undermine the pro-democratic demonstrators’ efforts.
However, the channels were pulled down after they were discovered and YouTube said that it doesn’t matter who undermines democracy, they won’t allow videos that undermine human rights.
To keep the administration and police out of the conversation, protesters have turned to Bridgefy to communicate even more privately. The app is based on Bluetooth and enables conversation with no internet.
Downloads are reported to have reached 4000% as protesters turn to the app abandoning apps like WeChat which is monitored by the state.
Bridgefy is said to use a meshnet that connects users’ devices. The network allows people to communicate discretely from different parts of the city but within 100m range. Discretion is made possible as the message hops on other people’s cell phones before reaching the intended recipient.
The app was created by a company in San Francisco and has been effective in instances where the wi-fi fails to work say during sporting activities. For Hong Kongers, the app will play a major role in case the internet is disrupted or when the Great Firewall of China takes its toll on the web.
However, according to Professor Alan Woodward of Surrey University, the app does not guarantee privacy. Being a peer to peer network, Woodward is convinced that the authorities can still tap information through the metadata.
Top on that, since Bluetooth is not very secure, the government could still establish the senders of the message. If that is the case, protesters should really be careful while using Bridgefy.
Source Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49565587