Amazon, Google

The signal which is a widely used encrypted messaging app will stop employing a daily use method for avoiding the censorship. This statement comes from the Signal after two major cloud platforms turned off support for the practice.

Signal says that the Amazon is now threating to suspend the company’s AWS account to circumvent censorship. The company has published an email which came from Amazon in which it was written, “We will immediately suspend your use of CloudFront if you use third-party domains without their permissions to masquerade as that third party.”

It is for years that Open Whisper System has used the tricks to circumvent the censorship of the Signal messaging app for the countries which are trying to silence the political dissent. Amazon has warned OWS about the Signal’s anti-censorship system violates AWS terms of service by using a domain which doesn’t have the rights to use which is known as Amazon’s own Souq.com.  The chat service doesn’t have any permission to use the Souq’s internet domain for any of the purposes as Amazon said.

Earlier, Signal used a method of circumvention to trick the blocking attempts by making it look like a connection is from a different domain. The domain that Signal is using is via Google App Engine to access the censorship in the countries which block access. As a result, Google had notified the Signal to stop fronting via “internal changes” which makes the company switch to Amazon instead.

Signal said in a statement that, “With Google Cloud and AWS (Amazon Web Services) out of the picture, it seems that domain fronting as a censorship circumvention technique is now largely non-viable in the countries where Signal had enabled this feature, The idea behind domain fronting was that to block a single site, you’d have to block the rest of the internet as well. In the end, the rest of the internet didn’t like that plan.”

Domain fronting allows the encrypted messaging apps like Signal to help the traffic to travel through the cloud provider. Signal and Telegram are playing a crucial role to evade the government censorship. Access to Signal has been censored in countries like Egypt, Qatar, Oman and UAE for the last one and half years. Signal said that the company has responded with the help of domain fronting from the Google App Engine in those countries. The countries have to block google.com to block Signal, and this will be not happening in these countries.

Now the company is more concerned about the lack of alternatives that they have. The company has chosen AWS as an anti-censorship tool as it is one of the few options which have left which will help the Signal to avoid a data handshake. This reveals the true nature of the traffic which gives censors and easy target. According to the Signal. The domain fronting does not have any matter and is now largely non-viable.

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