Internet BLACKOUT in India, How Do You Communicate With Others for Any Solution? | During an Internet Shutdown

Communication is a privilege we’ve all come used to thanks to smartphones and the internet.

  • It’s only during internet shutdowns and communication blackouts that we realize how difficult it is to communicate. India is currently in the midst of mass protests against the government’s enactment of Kashmir Internet blackout & near future Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.(CAA)

  • In the wake of protests, the government has issued directives to suspend mobile and internet services.

Fortunately, there are alternatives that can be used during such situations.

There are plenty of applications that use smartphones and similar gadgets to create mesh networks to communicate without any inhibitions. If you’re fortunate enough to read this story, I strongly recommend you to an application that’s suitable for your use from the list below. Although you might have access to voice and data services today, you don’t know what tomorrow brings.

Without any further ado, here are some applications that you can use to communicate in the event of an internet shutdown or a communication blackout. At the time of writing, the applications below have been tested to work in India.

  1. Bridgefy

Bridgefy is an offline messaging application that’s available for both Android and iOS and doesn’t require an internet connection to even set it up. It makes use of Bluetooth to send messages within a 100-metre radius. But for communication during a blackout, it also has a mesh mode that connects people with someone who is even further away than 100 metres by connecting via other Bridgefy users in the middle. Although, Bridgefy assures that the people in the middle won’t be able to read the messages.

There is a broadcast mode available too that can be used to send messages to all other Bridgefy users in the vicinity, even if they aren’t in your contact list.

  1. Vojer

Vojer is a peer-to-peer messenger that makes use of a mesh network to send texts, images and even voice notes. It only needs permission for WiFi, Bluetooth, Microphone and the Camera to operate. Like other applications on the list, it doesn’t need a data or a voice connection to transmit messages. Although, the application is only available for iOS . You’ll have to pay INR 599 for it.

  1. Briar

Briar is another application that makes use of Bluetooth and WiFi to send messages to users nearby. It’s available for Android . Although, it needs you to manually add contacts by scanning QR codes. Not too relevant during a communication blackout, but the application can sync via the Tor network when online to protect users from surveillance. It can prove to be quite useful for journalists.


if you DO have internet and you just need to circumvent a firewall type protection, then TOR is the way to go:


CONCLUSION

  • one can use HAM radio or walkie talkies also, in such bad conditions
  • Satellite phone can also be used, Satellite internet is one option, but not all that cost effective in most respects.

A satellite connection, such as Iridium or VSAT, could work.

However, the kind of government that thinks it’s okay to block their citizens from accessing the Internet is not the kind of government that’ll simply fine you a small sum if they catch you bypassing their blocking.

Serious harm can come to you and your loved ones if you get caught. Think carefully before you act, and acquire knowledge of how to conceal your activities. Any kind of satellite/radio equipment, even highly directional ones like parabolic dishes, are at risk of radiolocation by government forces.


If you have any more ideas, you can contribute on this thread! :bulb:

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there has to be a plan B if Internet goes down.

Ham Radio is the best option I think ? Can it be tracked ?

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