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Syrian software allows war-torn families to stay in touch with each other

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AP/EAST NEWS

Daniel Esparza - published on 02/28/17

FreeCom allows users to send messages without an internet connection

Abdul Rahman Alashraf, a 27-year-young Syrian inventor, won the European Youth Award in December 2016 for his software program FreeCom, which allows for the transmission of messages without an internet connection. For those who live under heavy censorship regimes, or in war areas in which basic services — including regular, normal telecommunication services — are nowhere to be found, FreeCom is quite a breakthrough.

Alashraf’s software makes use of already existing technology on any typical smartphone, just like the ones anyone in a disaster zone might have at hand. Since most mobiles have a microphone, a speaker, a flashlight  and Bluetooth connectivity, Alashraf combined such tools into software able to transmit messages: text messages are encrypted and sent as encoded sound sequences (via Bluetooth) to other nearby mobile phones within the range of the network, allowing for a “chain” of messages to be distributed and passed forward. During the night, flashing lights could be used for the very same purposes, uninterruptedly broadcasting vital information.

You can read the whole article, as published by Middle East Eye, here.

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