BUSINESS | ZOOM Plans To Roll Out Strong Encryption for paying customers only

NEW YORK – Zoom, the video conferencing provider whose business had boomed with the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to strengthen encryption on video calls made by paying clients and institutions like schools, but not for users of its popular free accounts, a company official said Friday.

The company previewed its intentions on a call with civil liberties groups and child-sex abuse fighters Thursday, and Zoom security consultant Alex Stamos confirmed the plans in an interview Friday.

Stamos said the plans were subject to change and it was not yet clear which if any nonprofits or other users, such as political dissidents, might qualify for accounts allowing for more secure vide meetings. He said a combination of technological, safety and business factors went into the plan, which drew mixed reactions from privacy advocates.

Zoom has attracted millions of free and paying customers amid the pandemic in part because users could join a meeting – something that happens 300 million times a day – without registering. But that has left more opportunities for troublemakers to slip into meetings, sometimes after pretending to be an invitee.

Electric Frontier Foundation researcher Gennie Gebhart, who was on Thursday’s call, said she hoped Zoom would change course and offer protected video more widely. But American Civil Liberties Union technology fellow Jon Callas said the strategy seemed a reasonable compromise.

Safety experts and law enforcement have warned that sexual predators and other criminals are increasingly using encrypted communications to avoid detection.

‘Those of us who are doing secure communication believe we need to do things about the real horrible stuff’, Callas said. ‘Charging money for end-to-end encryption is a way to get rid of the riff-riff’.

Zoom hired Stamos and other prominent experts after a series of security failures that led some institution to ban its use. Last week Zoom released a technical paper on its encryption plans, without saying how widely they would reach.

‘At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety’, said Stamos, a former chief security officer at Facebook.

‘The CEO is looking at different argument. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise account where the company who they are’, he said.

Giving full encryption to every meeting would mean that Zoom’s trust and safety team would not be able to monitor what is happening or response effectively to abuse in real time, Stamos said.

An end-to-end model, which means no one but the participants and their devices can see and hear what is happening, would also have to exclude people who call in front a phone line.

From a business perspective, it is hard to earn money when offering a sophisticated and expensive encryption service for free. Facebook is planning to fully encrypt Messenger, but it earns enormous sums from its other services.

Other encrypted communication providers either charge business users or act as nonprofits, like the makers of Signal.


Saudi King Salman Wishes Prosperity On Nation Ahead Of National Day

Riyadh / Saudi Arabia – – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz wished prosperity on the nation ahead of the Kingdom’s 91st National Day on Thursday. The comments were made during a virtual session of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. King Salman also commemorated his predecessors including the country’s founder, King Abdulaziz. Saudi National … More Saudi King Salman Wishes Prosperity On Nation Ahead Of National Day

The Canaries Are Safe And The Volcano Is A Great Show, Says Minister

Paris/France – – The Canary Island are safe to visit and a volcano eruption there is a ‘wonderful show’, Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said on Monday, just hours after 5,000 people, including hundreds of tourists, had to be evacuated. The volcano – the archipelago’s first eruption in 50 years – blew Sunday, spouting lava … More The Canaries Are Safe And The Volcano Is A Great Show, Says Minister

Saudi Arabia Expresses Concern Over Iran’s Lack Of Transparency On Nuclear Program

Riyadh / Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia is concerned over Iran’s lack of transparency in regards to its nuclear program, the Kingdom’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said on Monday during an International Atomic Energy (IAEA) meeting with other member states. Saudi Arabia reiterates the importance of countries around the world abiding by … More Saudi Arabia Expresses Concern Over Iran’s Lack Of Transparency On Nuclear Program

UAE Rejects European Parliament Resolution On Human Rights As ‘Incorrect’

Dubai – – The United Arab Emirates rejected on Friday as ‘factually incorrect’ a resolution passed by the European Parliament criticizing its human rights record and calling for the release of peaceful political activists. ‘Every country has its own laws and legal institutions, the UAE constitution and national legislation enshrines fundamental rights which provide for … More UAE Rejects European Parliament Resolution On Human Rights As ‘Incorrect’

Paris Saint – Germain To Participate In Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season Cup In Jan. 2022

Riyadh – – Paris Saint – Geranin (PSG) is set to participate in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season Cup in January 2022, Saudi Press Agency SPA reported on Friday. The one – match tournament will feature a football game between PSG and star players from Al Hilal SFC and Al Nassar FC, two of the GCC … More Paris Saint – Germain To Participate In Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season Cup In Jan. 2022

U.S. State Department Approves Potential $500 Million Saudi Maintenance Deal

WASHINGTON – – The U.S. State Department has approved a potential agreement covering up to $500 million in military support services for Saudi Arabia, and has sent the agreement to Congress for review, the Pentagon said on Thursday. It was the first major defense agreement for Saudi Arabia sent to Congress since President Joe Biden … More U.S. State Department Approves Potential $500 Million Saudi Maintenance Deal

Macron, Merkel Vow To Cooperate Closely Until New German Government Is Formed

Paris / France – – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Thursday to keep working closely together until a new German government is formed after the Sept. 26 polls in which Merkel is not a candidate. In 16 years in power, Merkel has known four French presidents and has built … More Macron, Merkel Vow To Cooperate Closely Until New German Government Is Formed

Saudi – Led Coalition Thwarts Houthi Missile And Drones Attack – Media

Dubai / UAE – – The Saudi – led coalition said late on Thursday that it thwarted and destroyed four Houthi explosives – laden drones and a ballistic rocket fired in the direction of the southern Saudi city of Jazan, Saudi state media reported. The Saudi – led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, … More Saudi – Led Coalition Thwarts Houthi Missile And Drones Attack – Media

Macron Says French French Forces Killed Islamic State Leader In Sahara

Paris / France — French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that French military forces had killed Islamic Adnan Abu Walid al – Sahrawi, the leader of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. ‘It’s another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel’, Macron said in a tweet, without disclosing the location of … More Macron Says French French Forces Killed Islamic State Leader In Sahara

Putin To Remain In COVID – 19 Isolation For Days As Dozens In Entourage Ill

Moscow / Russia – Russian President Vladimir  Putin said on Thursday he would have to spend ‘a few days’ in self – isolation after dozens of people in his entourage fell ill with COVID – 19, the TASS news agency reported. Putin was speaking through a video link at a summit of Russia – led … More Putin To Remain In COVID – 19 Isolation For Days As Dozens In Entourage Ill

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s