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Taiwan joins Canada in banning Zoom for government video conferencing

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 8, 2020
Taiwan's cabinet has told government agencies to stop using Zoom Video Communications Inc.'s video conferencing app, the latest blow to the company as it battles criticism of its booming platform over privacy and security.
Taiwan government
Taiwan   Government
Zoom's daily users ballooned to more than 200 million in March, as coronavirus-induced shutdowns forced employees to work from home and schools switched to the company's free app for conducting and co-ordinating online classes.

Topics: Taiwan Canada ban Zoom

However, the company is facing a backlash from users worried about the lack of end-to-end encryption of meeting sessions and "Zoom-bombing," where uninvited guests crash meetings.

If government agencies must hold video conferencing, they "should not use products with security concerns, like Zoom," Taiwan's cabinet said in a statement on Tuesday. It did not elaborate on what the security concerns were.

The island's education ministry later said it was banning the use of Zoom in schools.

Taiwan joined Canada in telling government agencies not to use Zoom for secure communications

"The security aspects of Zoom have not been assessed by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre), and it has not been approved for any government discussions that require secure communications," Ryan Foreman, a spokesperson for the Communications Security Establishment, Canada's electronic surveillance agency, said last week.

Some U.S. schools districts are looking at putting limits on the use of Zoom after an FBI warning last month.

Zoom Video Communications was sued by a shareholder and accused of fraud amid mounting security concerns over the popular video-conferencing app.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court, the company and its top officers were accused of concealing the truth about shortcomings in the app’s software encryption, including its alleged vulnerability to hackers, as well as the unauthorized disclosure of personal information to third parties including Facebook Inc.

Investor Michael Drieu, who filed the suit as a class action, claims a series of public revelations about the app’s deficiencies starting last year have dented Zoom’s stock price.

Zoom Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan has apologized for the lapses, acknowledging in a blog post last week that the company had fallen short of expectations over privacy and security.