Like many people across the globe, Iranians have been spooked by WhatsApp’s recent announcement that it would be sharing data with parent company Facebook. In response, they have been flooding to the messaging app’s rival, Signal.
This month, Signal became the most-downloaded app in Iran. On Monday, it was suddenly blocked and removed from local Android markets.
Signal is an encrypted end-to-end messaging app used by journalists and activists worldwide and considered the most secure app of its kind.
The huge rise in its popularity clearly troubled Iranian authorities. But amid the outcry over Signal’s restriction, no one in Tehran’s government or judiciary has taken responsibility for blocking the app, with a blame game rumbling on as Iranians bypass restrictions through VPNs.