Zoom says no end-to-end encryption for free users. Zoom being a preeminent video conferencing app, and in lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic video-calling companies got huge significance and acquisition, Zoom is one of them. Zoom offers free video-conferencing service up to 100 people and various people were getting advantage from Zoom’s free video-conferencing and end-to-end encryption security but recent reports stated that Zoom says no end-to-end encryption for free users.
Zoom doesn’t gain all of this increased attention during the lockdowns without its justifiable share of scrutiny. Users were chastising Zoom for its privacy and security, and now Zoom says no end-to end-encryption will be provided to the free users.
A security consultant at Zoom, Alex Stamos explained the current position of the company on Twitter. According to Alex, “Some facts on Zoom’s current plans for E2E encryption, which are complicated by the product requirements for an enterprise conferencing product and some legitimate safety issues.“
If we say it in simple words than Zoom is trying to stop the abuses occurring over video-conferencing platforms and the company wants to prevent people who are using the platform for wrong purposes.
Zoom Says No End-to-End Encryption for Free Users
According to Zoom’s CEO Yuan, “the company wants to be able to operate it together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement.” However, this statement was regarded as controversial and Stamos explained that the statement was vague and further explained the current situation of the company, he said that “Zoom is currently facing a ‘challenging balancing act’ of trying to enhance security and privacy. The company is also trying to reduce the human effect of the abuse of Zoom’s product.“
Now Zoom’s trust and Safety team are able to enter into any meeting, also the team can report a meeting if they find that the meeting abusive. However, the company’s employees can’t enter into a meeting and report it abusive as prevented by end-to-end encryption. Also, the whole system will not have a backdoor, if it will be there then the whole purpose of end-to-end encryption will end. With this, it is clearly understood that Zoom says no end-to-end encryption for free users and all meetings are always visible to Zoom’s Trust and Safety team.
According to a Zoom’s spokesperson, in an email to Digital Information World, “Zoom’s AES 256 GCM encryption is turned on for all Zoom users – free and paid. Zoom does not proactively monitor meeting content, and we do not share information with law enforcement except in circumstances like child sex abuse. We do not have backdoors where anyone can enter meetings without being visible to others. None of this will change.
Zoom’s end-to-end encryption plan balances the privacy of its users with the safety of vulnerable groups, including children and potential victims of hate crimes. We plan to provide end-to-end encryption to users for whom we can verify identity, thereby limiting harm to these vulnerable groups. Free users sign up with an email address, which does not provide enough information to verify identity.
The current decision by Zoom’s management is to offer end-to-end encryption to business and enterprise tiers. We are determining the best path forward for providing end-to-end encryption to our Pro users.
Zoom has engaged with child safety advocates, civil liberties organizations, encryption experts, and law enforcement to incorporate their feedback into our plan. Finding the perfect balance is challenging. We always strive to do the right thing.”
Moreover, Alex Stamos Company’s security consultant also stated that “Zoom’s recent stance will not entirely eliminate abuse, however, this stance will help the company to reduce the harm. We are not yet sure when the new changes will take place as the company has not announced a roll-out date for the new end-to-end encryption tools.“
Alex also says that a compelling portion of meetings is not compatible with end-to-end encryption. The recent system of Zoom will equip business and enterprise users with E2E encryption, the plan has several distinctions. If you are on a business plan and not paying anything to zoom, so zoom will still provide you E2E encryption service.
Zoom says No end-to-end encryption for free users to stop the abusive meetings over the platform, not to harm users’ security. The company hasn’t revealed any roll-out date for the new end-to-end encryption tools.