SpaceX Bans Zoom Amid Privacy and Security Concerns

The news comes days after the FBI issued a warning about the app.
Loukia Papadopoulos

SpaceX has banned video conferencing app Zoom, over what it called “significant privacy and security concerns,” reported Reuters. The news comes days after U.S. law enforcement released a warning about the app.


SpaceX released an email on March 28 informing employees that the app had been disabled. "We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support. Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication," said the email.

Two incidents

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office on Monday released a warning about Zoom, highlighting two incidents in Massachusetts.

"In late March 2020, a Massachusetts-based high school reported that while a teacher was conducting an online class using the teleconferencing software Zoom, an unidentified individual(s) dialed into the classroom. This individual yelled a profanity and then shouted the teacher’s home address in the middle of instruction," a release from the Boston FBI Field Office said.

"A second Massachusetts-based school reported a Zoom meeting being accessed by an unidentified individual. In this incident, the individual was visible on the video camera and displayed swastika tattoos."

Zoom responds

Meanwhile, news site The Intercept reported on Tuesday that Zoom video is not end-to-end encrypted. Zoom released a blog post addressing these concerns.

"In light of recent interest in our encryption practices, we want to start by apologizing for the confusion we have caused by incorrectly suggesting that Zoom meetings were capable of using end-to-end encryption. Zoom has always strived to use encryption to protect content in as many scenarios as possible, and in that spirit, we used the term end-to-end encryption," read the blog post.

"While we never intended to deceive any of our customers, we recognize that there is a discrepancy between the commonly accepted definition of end-to-end encryption and how we were using it." Zoom further explained that it could only encrypt content from Zoom meetings where everyone is using the Zoom app.

Content where users log in using other devices remains unencrypted. The ban is certain to make it more difficult for SpaceX to properly enact its work from home policies.

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