SINGAPORE: Offline messaging app Bridgefy stated it was downloaded greater than 600,000 times in a couple of hours in Myanmar, after the nation’s army seized energy on Monday (Feb 1) and quickly disrupted Internet site visitors.
The Mexico-based startup, which gained recognition throughout Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in 2020, tweeted that it hoped individuals in Myanmar would discover its app “useful during tough times”.
After the nation’s democratically elected leaders have been arrested, cellphone and Internet connections have been disrupted in the primary metropolis Yangon and the capital Naypyidaw 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 potential additional shutdowns.
Bridgefy, whose backers embody Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and which has additionally been used at anti-government rallies in Thailand, is certainly one of a number of apps based mostly on Bluetooth that use mesh networks to permit customers to speak with out Internet connections.
They have gained recognition globally, particularly in international locations which have a historical past of imposing restrictions on social media platforms and web suppliers – although safety consultants say they are often penetrated, exposing customers to surveillance dangers.
An analogous app, Firechat, has been used in protests in Iran and Iraq.