What you need to know
- The Taiwanese government has banned the use of Zoom.
- Neither government agencies nor specific organizations will be allowed to use the software.
- The move is part of a wider ban on video conferencing software, hardware, and services that pose security risks.
The Taiwanese government has banned government agencies and specific organizations from using Zoom, citing security risks.
As reported by DigiTimes:
Taiwan's Department of Cyber Security has banned all government agencies and specific non-government organizations not to use video conferencing hardware, software, and services that pose information security risks such as Zoom.
According to Cyber Security Management Act coming into force in 2019, government agencies, when choosing information and communication systems, should give priority to domestically-originated hardware/software and services or those provided by government-contracted suppliers, the department explained.
Alternatives suggested include Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts Meet, and Cisco WebEx. Zoom has been battered by claims of security and privacy flaws following its explosion in popularity in recent weeks. As the BBC notes, there is also a particularly political slant on this move. It was previously revealed that Zoom was unwittingly routing some traffic through China, even if none of the participants of a call were based in the country. Taiwan and China are of course locked in a political standoff, whereby China views Taiwan as a "breakaway rebel province, destined to be reunited with the mainland." Whilst security concerns over Zoom range from over-inflated claims about encryption, Zoom-bombing, macOS installation shenanigans and the ease with which Zoom meetings can be scoured to find meeting IDs and other call information, it is likely that the Taiwanese government's decision is most heavily rooted in concerns around China.
Whilst Zoom has proven a popular tool for many, it isn't without flaws. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives around!