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Title    Elon Musk's SpaceX Bans Zoom over Privacy Concerns
Date    Thursday April 02 2020, @11:09PM
Author    martyb
Topic   
from the too-much-privacy dept.
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=20/04/02/1855204

DannyB writes:

Elon Musk's SpaceX bans Zoom over privacy concerns-memo

[...] In an email dated March 28, SpaceX told employees that all access to Zoom had been disabled with immediate effect.

"We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support," SpaceX said in the message. "Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication."

[...] NASA, one of SpaceX's biggest customers, also prohibits its employees from using Zoom, said Stephanie Schierholz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. space agency.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston office on Monday issued a warning about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as "zoombombing."

Also consider that one way to claim to have "end to end encryption" is to simply re-define the term. Zoom Meetings Aren't End-to-End Encrypted, Despite Misleading Marketing:

Zoom, the video conferencing service whose use has spiked amid the Covid-19 pandemic, claims to implement end-to-end encryption, widely understood as the most private form of internet communication, protecting conversations from all outside parties. In fact, Zoom is using its own definition of the term, one that lets Zoom itself access unencrypted video and audio from meetings.

With millions of people around the world working from home in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, business is booming for Zoom, bringing more attention on the company and its privacy practices, including a policy, later updated, that seemed to give the company permission to mine messages and files shared during meetings for the purpose of ad targeting.

Still, Zoom offers reliability, ease of use, and at least one very important security assurance: As long as you make sure everyone in a Zoom meeting connects using "computer audio" instead of calling in on a phone, the meeting is secured with end-to-end encryption, at least according to Zoom's website, its security white paper, and the user interface within the app. But despite this misleading marketing, the service actually does not support end-to-end encryption for video and audio content, at least as the term is commonly understood.

[...] Matthew Green, a cryptographer and computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University, points out that group video conferencing is difficult to encrypt end to end. That's because the service provider needs to detect who is talking to act like a switchboard, which allows it to only send a high-resolution videostream from the person who is talking at the moment, or who a user selects to the rest of the group, and to send low-resolution videostreams of other participants. This type of optimization is much easier if the service provider can see everything because it's unencrypted.

[...] "They're a little bit fuzzy about what's end-to-end encrypted," Green said of Zoom. "I think they're doing this in a slightly dishonest way. It would be nice if they just came clean."

The only feature of Zoom that does appear to be end-to-end encrypted is in-meeting text chat.

Be aware, too, of the potential for "zoombombing"; here is a selection of articles: 'Zoombombing': When Video Conferences Go Wrong, A Zoom Meeting For Women Of Color Was Hijacked By Trolls Shouting The N-Word , and Beware of 'ZoomBombing': screensharing filth to video calls.

Previously:
(2020-03-28) Now That Everyone's Using Zoom, Here Are Some Privacy Risks You Need to Watch Out For
(2020-03-27) School Quits Video Calls After Naked Man ‘Guessed’ the Meeting Link
(2020-03-14) Student Privacy Laws Still Apply if Coronavirus Just Closed Your School


Original Submission

Links

  1. "DannyB" - https://soylentnews.org/~DannyB/
  2. "Elon Musk's SpaceX bans Zoom over privacy concerns-memo" - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spacex-zoom-video-commn/elon-musks-spacex-bans-zoom-over-privacy-concerns-memo-idUSKBN21J71H
  3. "Zoom Meetings Aren't End-to-End Encrypted, Despite Misleading Marketing" - https://theintercept.com/2020/03/31/zoom-meeting-encryption/
  4. "privacy practices," - https://blogs.harvard.edu/doc/2020/03/27/zoom/
  5. "seemed" - https://www.consumerreports.org/video-conferencing-services/zoom-teleconferencing-privacy-concerns/
  6. "website," - https://zoom.us/security
  7. "security white paper," - https://zoom.us/docs/doc/Zoom-Security-White-Paper.pdf
  8. "'Zoombombing': When Video Conferences Go Wrong" - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/style/zoombombing-zoom-trolling.html
  9. "A Zoom Meeting For Women Of Color Was Hijacked By Trolls Shouting The N-Word" - https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/salvadorhernandez/zoom-coronavirus-racist-zoombombing
  10. "Beware of 'ZoomBombing': screensharing filth to video calls" - https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/17/zoombombing/
  11. "(2020-03-28) Now That Everyone's Using Zoom, Here Are Some Privacy Risks You Need to Watch Out For" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=20/03/28/1540217
  12. "(2020-03-27) School Quits Video Calls After Naked Man ‘Guessed’ the Meeting Link" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=20/03/27/1744206
  13. "(2020-03-14) Student Privacy Laws Still Apply if Coronavirus Just Closed Your School" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=20/03/14/1324210
  14. "Original Submission" - https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=40158

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