Nahoft, a state-of-the-art encryption app made for Android mobile phones

The idea for the app was born in 2012, on a bus in Turkey when an Iranian dissident journalist, Mohammad Heydari, and Iranian student activist and security expert, Reza Ghazinouri, now both U.S residents, discussed freedom of the press in a repressive country they both had to flee.

The brutal and bloody Aban protests in November 2019 in Iran were a wake-up call for them and United for Iran that creating Nahoft was urgent. During the protests, the Islamic Republic of Iran managed to shut the Internet off for a whole week, effectively gagging and blinding its citizens. No information flowed in or out of Iran. Meanwhile, during this state-orchestrated blackout, Iranian forces ruthlessly cracked down on their own people and killed at least 304 men, women, and children, and arrested 7,000.

Nahoft was created with Iran and its unique political and socio-economic situation in mind. An authoritarian state run by Islamic clergy, Iran cracks down on its citizens’ basic human rights and civil liberties, in particular freedoms of speech, press, and peaceful assembly. Those freedoms are anathema to any authoritarian regime and are always the first to be crushed.

Nahoft was created for Iranian activists, journalists, civil society organizations, and regular people so that they can safely access information, exchange ideas, advocate for human rights, and continue to organize undetected by the regime.

With our eyes on the goal to improve civil liberties, we aimed to create an app that would respond to some of Iranians’ most immediate needs and we came up with Nahoft.

Nahoft has been downloaded over 7,000 times and has been featured in several media pieces worldwide such as Vice News and WIRED.