Peer-to-Peer mesh network app Fireside Messenger helps Ukrainians with encrypted messaging and censorship evasion

Stas Shalunov - CEO of Clostra

Stas Shalunov – CEO of Clostra

Free and unhindered Internet access is under threat in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.

With Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, we feel compelled to state that the Fireside Messenger app is ideal for mitigating attempts to censor or block content by Roskomnadzor or the military.

— Stas Chalunov

MIAMI, FLORIDA, USA, March 4, 2022 / — Fireside Messenger by NewNode, a division of US-based software development company Clostra, is a free app for Android (iOS coming soon) that works to unblock content and facilitate end-to-end encrypted messaging service between users. Fireside Messenger uses the open source NewNode mesh networking protocol that creates networks made up of mobile devices.

The NewNode protocol, as well as Fireside Messenger itself, was developed by the same team that created the FireChat app. FireChat was used to good effect by activists and protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2014.

Fireside Messenger builds on this heritage by adding secure end-to-end encryption of messages and file shares, making it easier and safer for users to communicate. access censored information.

Moreover, he can unblock content that has been censored or otherwise denied a user by routing the request through the HTTP proxy to a peer on the network that has access to it. These requests, like messages, are also end-to-end encrypted to ensure privacy.

Unlike VPNs which route traffic to potentially vulnerable servers in different regions, the nature of peer-to-peer networks makes it difficult or impossible for anyone to block access to digital content. If a peer is disabled or blocked from access, traffic is routed to other peers that have access to fulfill the request.

When access to content is intentionally blocked by censorship, or when acts of war or natural disasters destroy cellular or Internet infrastructure, Fireside Messenger provides a resilient and secure way to communicate and share content.

“While there are many use cases for Fireside Messenger, with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, we feel compelled to state that the app is ideal for mitigating attempts to censor or block contained by Roskomnadzor or the Russian military,” said CEO and founder of Clostra, Stas. Chalunov. “I myself was born in the former Soviet Union, where I was a dissident. I know from experience what it is like to live under an oppressive regime. As a US citizen and technologist, I am determined to help those who suffer from authoritarianism find a path to uncensored information and communicate safely. This is the real purpose of Fireside Messenger.

“Since the invasion began last week, we’ve seen a tenfold increase in Fireside Messenger downloads and users in Ukraine and Russia,” Shalunov continued. “Russia employs drastic methods to suppress anti-war communications and demonstrations, so it is encouraging to see adoption of Fireside Messenger growing rapidly where it is needed most. We work with activists around the world to raise awareness of the app, with the aim of preventing any regime from censoring or blocking content they don’t like.

Fireside Messenger is a free application available on the GooglePlay store. Those who find that access to GooglePlay has been blocked can install Fireside Messenger by downloading it from the NewNode website: An iOS version of the app is being beta tested, with the aim of making it available over the next few months.

To learn more about Fireside Messenger, or to download and install the app, please visit Application developers interested in the NewNode SDK are encouraged to visit the NewNode open source project on GitHub.

About Clostra
Miami-based Clostra uses machine learning, deep learning, and peer-to-peer networking approaches to build innovative software and mobile apps. Clostra draws on its in-house expertise in networking and artificial intelligence, as well as the latest advances in academic research, to develop solutions to today’s most critical problems. Learn more about

About Fireside Messenger
Developed by the same team that created FireChat, Fireside Messenger is a dependable and reliable application designed to unblock censored content and facilitate end-to-end secure encrypted messaging. Built using the open source NewNode peer-to-peer mesh networking protocol developed by Clostra, Fireside Messenger is designed to provide a truly secure way to meet the human need to communicate with each other. Learn more about Fireside Messenger and NewNode at

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