Some users defend Zoom's decision not to encrypt all meetings - The UpStream

Some users defend Zoom's decision not to encrypt all meetings

posted Sunday Jun 7, 2020 by Scott Ertz

Some users defend Zoom's decision not to encrypt all meetings

When it comes to privacy and security, Zoome has not been a success story. A year ago, an issue in the software allowed anyone to turn on a Mac's webcam without the owner's permission or knowledge and uninstalling Zoom didn't remove the exploit. This year, we have seen Zoom bombing become the norm, with people joining meetings that they are not invited to. To combat its image, the company has announced that it intends to encrypt meetings from end-to-end, but that new feature comes with a caveat: not everyone gets it.

Unfortunately, only paid Zoom users will be able to use encrypted meetings. However, many of the people who use the software and are at risk are the ones using it for free. The internet has generally not been kind to the company in response to the announcement. The general consensus is that the reasoning behind the decision is to encourage users to pay for the software. It's a fairly common sales plan to make features that are in high demand paid. However, it is not common to hide security behind a paywall.

While most have been unhappy with Zoom's decision, a small group has defended the company's decision. That is because of the bizarre justification that the company'gave for the decision. Rather than saying that it is a sales move, which of course it is, they cloaked it in child protection. By leaving these conversations unencrypted, they will be able to work with law enforcement in instances where child exploitation content is involved.

The biggest issue with this theory is that the only publicly documented cases where Zoom meetings have involved any child exploitation content have been meetings where people have Zoom bombed. That would mean that the lack of encryption would be there to turn over information about the end result of the company's own security flaws. Either way, it's not a good look to have known security flaws in your product and only offer a partial patch to some people.


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