In a bid to bypass government restrictions, Iraqis have rolled out Firechat an app which allows group messages to be sent between phones without the need for internet connection. The application developed by start-up Open Garden has attracted over 40,000 users only last week adding up to over 75,000 users worldwide as authorities seek to prevent militants from communicating.
Using a technology known as “mesh networking”, the app allows group chats between two and 10,000 people without the need for an internet connection. Messages can be sent to people within the immediate vicinity, as long as they have the app installed.
The official ban from the government is due to extremists posting graphic images as well as unruly messages on twitter, which led to the barring of social media to Iraqis also having internet completely cut out in some provinces. Launched three months ago, the app’s popularity has grown from 6,000 users to now being second to the US.
The software runs on both Android and iOS devices with a range of 70m in which it extends if enough people use the app in a chain like effect.
Courtesy of BBC.