Zoom Finally Has End-to-End Encryption.

from Wired

ZOOM HAS GONE from startup to verb in record time, by now the de facto video call service for work-from-home meetings and cross-country happy hours alike. But while there was already plenty you could do to keep your Zoom sessions private and secure, the startup has until now lacked the most important ingredient in a truly safe online interaction: end-to-end encryption. Here’s how to use it, now that you can, and why in many cases you may not actually want to.

It’s been a long road to get here. This spring, as Zoom rode the pandemic to video call ubiquity, close observers noticed that the company was calling a feature “end-to-end encrypted” when in fact it was not. Data could be encrypted, yes, but lacked the critical “end-to-end” part, which means that no one—not Zoom, not hackers, not government snoops—can access it as it travels from one user to the other. It’s the difference between your landlord keeping a key to your apartment and being able to change the locks yourself: not the end of the world in either case, but you’d want to know for sure. Especially if you don’t trust your landlord.

You likely already use end-to-end encryption in some form or another. It’s on by default for iMessage and WhatsApp, a staple of encrypted messaging platforms like Signal, and an optional feature in Facebook Messenger. For video chat, your options are more sparse. Apple offers it for up to 32 participants on FaceTime, while WhatsApp allows up to eight people at a time. Signal can manage only one-on-one encrypted calls at the moment. Suffice to say, it’s a hard thing to get right.

And so Zoom went on a spending spree, bringing on high-profile consultants from the world of cryptography and buying up Keybase, a company that specializes in end-to-end encryption. The result of that flurry: Zoom finally delivered on its security promises at the end of October.

What Zoom launched is actually a 30-day technical preview; the company will continue to refine the offering through next year. But even in its early days, it offers a significant upgrade in protection for those who need it most.

More here.

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2 Comments

  1. Due to Covid 19 Zoom has really been the go to for people who are working from home, or for example schools who are closed and are all online, which is why Zoom has really made its way up in the market. Also having end to end encryption it is better for everyone, because due to the pandemic we use it more, and are available to see or connect with each other and show everyone or hear them out. For example when students have class online there’s so many people on the zoom call, and its great that there can be so many people at once on a call. If we can do this and add the safety measures it comes with and how we can be have cyber safety in these calls while were on would be great, because how the article talks about hackers and all and all these bots that we have now due to the technology always being updated, we need to install the right type of security and keep it safe for everyone to use especially now and I hope we can keep going and make great causes for everyone to be available to use. The article talks about how if you don’t trust your landlord, are you okay with him/her having a key to your apartment? I wouldn’t be comfortable and its just like with Zoom and what you are talking about on your call. I wouldn’t want to be in a important meeting and someone I don’t know or someone knows what I’m speaking about on the app. Also make sure its safe and nobody is in my business and privacy, that is not legal and zoom should have the right to improve their app.

  2. End-to-end encryption is defined as ” a method of secure communication that prevents third-parties from accessing data while it’s transferred from one end system or device to another. In E2EE, the data is encrypted on the sender’s system or device and only the recipient is able to decrypt it.” After doing all of the research for our TID, I have seen how much help we all need with privacy when using the internet. The fact that we can feel protected while using Zoom is amazing because truthfully, I was worried we were being tracked somehow by using our cameras and microphones while using the app. Just as the article makes the reference to a landlord holding a key to your apartment, I know am grateful to know that said key is no longer. Any aspects of improved privacy online is approved by me at this point seeing that us as users of the internet essentially have no true privacy at this time. I hope that more and more organizations follow in Zooms footsteps to make sure our information stays encrypted and it is not being mined by our government or the military. I think what I send to someone on the internet should be shown to them and only them. The fact that when we put pictures online, can be seen by anyone with the proper search terminology has freaked me out since day one and it is one of the main reasons why I mostly refrain from posting content on social media. I even had my accounts private and I was somehow able to dig up the photos. It is not legal that numerous people that aren’t intended to be able to see my content have the ability to, it is flagrantly illegal and I won’t stand for it. I feel like privacy measures like VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) used to bounce signals around and hide the posters ip address and details should be free because it seems like an essential aspect of privacy on the internet turned into a corporate way to make money. Truthfully though, a vpn is worth whatever the company who organizes them is charging if it means my privacy online, and I am happy that I won’t have to worry about buying one to protect my privacy while in zoom meetings.

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