The government of Taiwan has banned the Video-call app, due to some of the calls being routed through China, who do not recognise Taiwan’s independence
Zoom has been banned from being used within government business in Taiwan, after the hugely popular video-calling app has been questioned over it’s cyber-security measures, as well as it’s links to China.
This comes as it was revealed that some Zoom traffic in the country was “mistakenly” routed through China, which does not recognise an independent Taiwan.
Taiwan’s government said public bodies should refrain from using products with security concerns “such as Zoom”.
Competitors such as Google and Microsoft have been deemed as acceptable to the Taiwanese government.
Researchers discovered last week, that some traffic from the video-calling app was being routed through Beijing, even when all those on the Zoom call were in based in North America.
This is worrying as Zoom’s data centers in China aren’t supposed to be used to reroute non-Chinese users’ calls.
This is largely due to privacy concerns: China does not enforce strict data privacy laws and could conceivably demand that Zoom decrypt the contents of encrypted calls.
The team from University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab also pointed out that Zoom has several hundred employees who worked in offices within mainland China, which:
“could also open up Zoom to pressure from Chinese authorities”
In a statement late Friday, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan admitted to mistakenly routing calls via China.
“In our urgency to come to the aid of people around the world during this unprecedented pandemic, we added server capacity and deployed it quickly — starting in China, where the outbreak began,” Yuan said.
“In that process, we failed to fully implement our usual geo-fencing best practices. As a result, it is possible certain meetings were allowed to connect to systems in China, where they should not have been able to connect.”
Before founding Zoom in 2011, Eric Yuan helped create video conferencing software WebEx, which was later sold to Cisco.
This is the latest controversy attributed to Zoom, which has become much more popular due to the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdown measures, resulting in increased scrutiny.
The UK Government using Zoom for cabinet meetings
Last week the UK government defended their use of Zoom, one government spokesperson saying:
“In the current unprecedented circumstances, the need for effective channels of communication is vital,”
This came after people had mentioned potential security risks after the Prime Minister tweeted a picture in which a meeting ID was visible.
The spokesperson went on to say that with more time they would be able to change to a more suitable system for cabinet meeting while in lockdown.
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