Amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA) in India and internet shutdown in multiple states, protesters are looking for alternative messaging apps that do not require data. This is where Bridgefy comes in, which relies on Bluetooth technology to send across messages and does not use Internet.
Bridgefy saw a spike in downloads during the anti-government protests in Hong Kong, China (via Forbes) earlier this year. The app now seems to trending on Twitter in India, thanks to internet shutdown.
Bridgefy essentially uses a mesh broadcasting network to send messages to people. There is the option of one-on-one private chatting between two users within the range of 100 metres or 330 feet. For this, Bridgefy uses a mesh network hop method where messages simply hop from one person’s phone to another till it reaches the intended person.
But the feature that seems really useful during protests is Bridgefy’s broadcast method that lets users broadcast a message to multiple users in range at once even if they are not on their contact list. Using the Bridgefy app, one can send offline ads, sounds, game moves as well as locations.
Airtel and Vodafone appeared to confirm that voice, Internet, and SMS services in parts of Delhi were suspended on Thursday. Following the shutdown, several users took to Twitter urging users to download the Bridgefy app.
Internet shutdowns happening in NATIONAL CAPITAL wow! Friends please install apps like Bridgefy which doesn’t need Internet. #SOSINDIA
— AKD (@TheHoleyBibli) December 19, 2019
— 🌳✨🐘💛 (@ruchiks127) December 19, 2019
In case of internet shutdown (reports are coming in on various cities experiencing this) you might like to have Bridgefy downloaded already on your phone – allows you to send messages in small radii. #CAA_NRC #BJPLiesOnCAA #IndiaRejectsCAB #Section144
— pooja nair (@poojavnair) December 19, 2019
“Internet shutdowns happening in NATIONAL CAPITAL wow! Friends please install apps like Bridgefy which doesn’t need Internet. #SOSINDIA,” said a Twitter user. “Guys, if you’re stuck without internet, use this app called Bridgefy. Works on Android and iOS #CAAProtest,” another user tweeted.
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