Zoom will not protect free video calls, it wants to share them with the police

In the weeks of complete lockdown the platform for video calls Zoom has been the protagonist of a stellar ascent. Practically unknown until a few months ago, today it is one of the virtual places preferred by friends or colleagues, and in general by those who want or need to spend time together but are unable to do so because of the distance or the social distancing measures implemented against Covid-19 . In these hours, however, the platform is being discussed because of a decision taken by the number one Eric Yuan: starting from the next few days Zoom will offer secure and encrypted calls only to users who pay for the service, while those who use the free version will be an easier target for hackers and government forces, with whom the company intends to fully collaborate in the future.

Because Zoom won’t protect free video calls

This allows Zoom hopes to limit abuse of the platform, which to date (as is the case with all online media) is also used to break the law. Without cryptographic security measures, Zoom video calls are more easily infiltrated. In short, leaving the free version of the app uncovered should discourage those who register with fake emails and take advantage of the communication channels offered to organize criminal activities. The CEO also made it clear that “we want to cooperate with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies in the event that Zoom is used for illicit purposes.”

The decision has its foundation: in recent weeks there has been no shortage complaints about illegal use of Zoom, which also include reports of child abuse broadcast live. Zoom also it is not the only company hi tech that legitimately tries to find its balance between two needs – that of providing secure communications to those who lawfully need secrecy and that of ensuring that their platform is not used to commit crimes: Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and Telegram these are just some of the realities that face the problem on a daily basis.

Zoom has however chosen to draw a line perfectly corresponding to the one that separates free users from paying customers, with a few exceptions such as schools and nonprofits, who will be able to take advantage of encryption even without paying. For this reason, in addition to those who applaud for the introduction of the paid cryptographic option and for the choice to operate a crackdown on anonymous criminals, there are also critics; in fact, the decision came concurrently with the communication of the latest financial data of the group, which shows that Zoom has already reached the peak of users in April and is now losing its appeal.