US Senate reportedly tells members to avoid Zoom


Members of the US Senate have apparently been told to avoid using Zoom for remote work.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The US Senate told members to avoid using Zoom for remote work during the coronavirus lockdown due to security issues surrounding the videoconferencing app, the Financial Times reported Thursday. It isn’t an official ban, like Google issued for its employees, but senators were apparently asked to use an alternative platform. 

Senators are currently negotiating financial aid for Americans impacted by the outbreak, as part of a broader $2 trillion economic relief package. The Taiwanese and German governments reportedly already put restrictions on officials’ use of Zoom, as have some US school districts

Zoom experienced a surge in popularity as the pandemic forced millions of people to stay home — CEO Eric Yuan revealed last week that the platform’s daily meeting participants rose from 10 million in December to 200 million in March

The increased use put the spotlight on Zoom’s privacy and security, from its attention-tracking features to uninvited attendees “Zoombombing” meetings, and has spawned several lawsuits against the company. Yuan outlined a plan to address the security issues in the next 90 days and said on Wednesday that cybersecurity expert Alex Stamos, formerly Facebook’s chief security officer, joined the company as an outside adviser to help perform a security review. 

Neither the Senate nor Zoom immediately responded to requests for comment.

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