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Zoom thinks law enforcement should get access to your calls (unless you pay)
Zoom has seen a meteoric rise since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to stay at home, offering a seamless way to video chat with colleagues and loved ones.
The service was lambasted for its security concerns in the wake of its rise, including the current lack of end-to-end encryption, but it’s since confirmed that this feature is coming. Now, it turns out that end-to-end encryption won’t be available for free users, for a rather interesting reason.
“Free users, for sure, we don’t want to give that [end-to-end encryption – ed]. Because we also want to work it together with FBI and local law enforcement, in case some people use Zoom for bad purpose (sic),” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said during an earnings call (h/t: TheNextWeb).
It would be somewhat understandable if Zoom chose to make end-to-end encryption a perk for paid users and simply stated as such. After all, companies offer exclusive features to paid customers all the time — even if it’s something as important as encryption. But Zoom’s justification definitely seems strange, implying that paid users simply don’t engage in illegal acts via the platform or that users can pay to make the service look the other way.
Even then, there’s been a wide trend for messaging services and video chat apps to offer end-to-end encryption over the years. This is despite pressure from governments and law enforcement agencies to drop this security measure.