Session: Iran geoblocks crypto project
During the political unrest in Iran, apps that protect user privacy are in greater demand than ever. This also includes the messenger service Session. Now the state is geoblocking the crypto project.
Crypto project Session rises to favorites in Iran
As political conflicts rise in Iran, the top apps on the Google Playstore paint a clear picture. Ten VPN services, a mobile interface for the Tor network and Messenger Session are among the twelve most popular free apps .
Session is a crypto project. The service allows its users to send confidential written, visual and audio messages. The app competes with messengers like Signal or Threema.
The difference: Session can be used free of charge on a wide variety of operating systems, does not require any user data to register and is based on its own cryptocurrency called Oxen.
Oxen is also an anonymizing network. Session takes advantage of this anonymity. In addition, Oxen can be sent confidentially between users. The Privacy Coin is based on Proof of Stake.
Iran geoblocks session
Various measures are used to ensure that the privacy of the user remains protected during the session. The structure of the network is of particular importance. This is structured like The Onion Router (Tor) . The user connects to a network node, which in turn is connected to another network node and so on.
After the message has passed through every single network node, it finally reaches the recipient. The individual network node does not notice where in the chain it is and therefore cannot identify whether it is communicating with the original sender. Of course, messages are encrypted during this time.
The Iranian state is apparently at odds with this idea. At least that’s what the latest reports suggest, which show that session has now become the target of a geoblock.
The developers of the messenger write on Twitter that an SSL VPN is a solution to the problem:
If you are in Iran and Session is not working, it can still be used in combination with a VPN.
They further state:
We are responding to the existing challenges and working on solutions that increase Session’s censorship resistance. We are on your side. We don’t give in.
However, one user points out below the post that SSL VPNs are also blacklisted and are therefore not accessible to Iranians. The I2P network and Lokinet are therefore the only viable options.
Iran is known for its ambivalence towards crypto. The country uses them for foreign trade , but restricts the residents in their use. They are not allowed to use Bitcoin and Co. as a means of payment or hold larger amounts.
Lokinet is also based on Oxen
The Lokinet is also based on Oxen. Together with Session, all three projects belong to the non-profit organization OPTF ( Oxen Privacy Tech Foundation) based in Australia. Lokinet is similar to the more popular Tor and I2P networks.
All three systems offer the user increased privacy on the Internet and access to websites outside of the clearnet – the so-called Darknet .
Lokinet uses the network nodes of the Oxen network. Compared to I2P and Tor, it wants to convince users with better accessibility, easier use and lower latency.