The Taiwanese government has instructed all public agencies to stop the use of zoom in video conferencing after it was revealed that the app’s traffic was “mistakenly” routed through China.
According to reports, a Toronto-based research group discovered that Zoom’s encryption keys were transmitted to servers in Beijing even when all participants in the video conference come from North America.
Citizen lab researchers also added that more than 700 employees of the conferencing software are based in China. They assumed that there might be an arrangement that “makes Zoom responsive to pressure from Chinese authorities.”
In response, Taiwan’s executive branch has immediately informed its bodies to cease the use of “products with information security concerns, such as Zoom.”
The demand for Zoom has rapidly increased for the past weeks as employees from both public and private sectors worldwide were forced to work remotely in efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Several schools who shifted to online classes following order of closure by the government have also heavily relied on the application.
With these, Zoom reported that its daily user base grew to an overwhelming 200 million as of March 2020 from only 10 million in December 2019.
But the increased popularity also resulted in increased scrutiny and security flaws.
Eric Yuan, the chief executive of Zoom, admitted that they are currently struggling to improve privacy features. He also apologized to millions of users who have been complaining about the app’s services.
“For that, I am deeply sorry…We now have a much broader set of users who are utilising our product in a myriad of unexpected ways presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived,” he said in a blog.
Despite the response from Zoom, Taiwan said that it will still ban the hugely popular application and instead authorize the use of Google and Microsoft’s apps in special circumstances.