Video conferencing provider Zoom plans to strengthen encryption of video calls hosted by paying clients and institutions such as schools, but not by users of its free consumer accounts, a company official said on Friday. The company, whose business has boomed with the coronavirus pandemic, discussed the move on a call with civil liberties groups and child-sex abuse fighters on Thursday, and Zoom security consultant Alex Stamos confirmed it on Friday. In an interview, Stamos said the plan was 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 more secure video meetings. He added that 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 now happens 300 million times a day – without registering. But that has allowed opportunities for troublemakers to slip into meetings, sometimes after pretending to be invitees. Gennie Gebhart, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who was on Thursday’s call, said she hoped Zoom would change… Read full this story
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