Despite Skype being in the video call game for seventeen years now, it’s utterly baffling to us how badly it’s lost the current war for video conference supremacy. Just a few months ago, no-one in the Stuffoffice had even heard of Zoom and now we tend to use it almost weekly. What happened to Skype? How did you fall? If anything, the only thing Skype has over Zoom is that fact that all Skype-to-Skype communication is encrypted to ensure the privacy of its users. You’d think Zoom would be quick to implement such a feature on their app but it seems like that’s just not gonna happen.
As long as you’re a free user of Zoom, your calls won’t be encrypted in the foreseeable future due to the company wanting to comply with law enforcement. Zoom wants to ensure that all calls that could potentially violate the terms of service and “misuse” the platform can be easily handed over to law enforcement without needing to decrypt all those criminal video calls.
Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, said last night that encryption will only be offered to paid users. “Free users, for sure, we don’t want to give [end-to-end encryption]. Because we also want to work it together with FBI and local law enforcement, in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose,” stated Yuan. Alex Stamos, a security consultant for Zoom said the lack of end-to-end encryption will allow the company to better trace repeat offenders. “Zoom is dealing with some serious safety issues. When people disrupt meetings (sometimes with hate speech, CSAM, exposure to children and other illegal behaviours) that can be reported by the host. Zoom is working with law enforcement on the worst repeat offenders,” tweeted Stamos.
So if you’re a criminal who plans on conducting villainous activities through Zoom you might want to budget for the paid version of the app, unless you’ve got absolutely nothing to hide from The Government Man.