Taiwan’s Government Outrightly Bans Zoom Over Security Concerns
Taiwan became the first government to outrightly ban Zoom over security concerns. The video conferencing app has faced a myriad of challenges lately. These challenges range from worries over how it encrypts user data, to potential theft of user data, leaked email addresses and ‘mistakenly’ routing calls via China.
The Taiwanese government in its statement told its public agencies not to use products with security concerns “such as Zoom”. It, however, okays competitors like Google or Microsoft.
In the statement translated via Google, the Taiwanese government’s executive branch said:
“If agencies must hold remote videoconferencing for business needs, they should not use products with security concerns such as Zoom. At present, all major international information service providers provide free software during the epidemic, such as Google or Microsoft. Under the security risk assessment, [these] can be considered for use.”
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Researchers found Last week that Zoom was routing traffic on its app via China. This occurrence even happened in cases where all the participants on the Zoom call were in North America.
Taiwan and China have an uneasy relationship as the latter sees the former as part of its territory. China also sees it as its destiny to reunite the region with its mainland areas.
China has never acknowledged Taiwan’s independence and claims the island as part of its territory. Therefore, this could have influenced Taiwan’s decision to ban the Zoom app.
Mistakes in routing the calls through China
Zoom had said it mistakenly routed the traffic through Chinese data centers because of a “massive increase” in demand. It also said it has stopped using Chinese data centers as a backup for non-Chinese clients.
In addition, Zoom CEO, Eric Yuan had previously apologised for “falling short” and outlined what his company is doing to fix the security concerns. This does not seem to be enough.
Taiwan is not alone as, last week, Elon Musk’s SpaceX also banned all its staff from using Zoom over security and privacy concerns.
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