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India Stops China To “Zoom” Into Indian Offices

India Speaks Daily Had Red-Flagged Raksha Mantri

After China invaded almost every country with its biological weapon Covid-19 virus disrupting global economy, now it has invaded in homes and offices of the country, through its app, which has been blocked by many powerful countries for security reasons.

India Speaks Daily was among the few media entities to have raised a red flag about using Zoom app by government officials, which can amount to compromising India’s security with China.

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The portal had brought to the notice of Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh on his Twitter handle by raising concerns of possibilities of China snooping on the vital data of defence ministry, which amounts to breach of security norms.

Singh held a video conference with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and chiefs of army, navy and airforce on April 1.

It is not just Singh, other ministers were also using Zoom app for official work. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar, were spotted with using the platform, to interact with their officials.

Tomar, in a talk with ICCR Chief Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, was discussing about the government’s plans of minimising losses for agricultural sector.

Not only BJP leaders, even Congress leaders are using the app for holding video conferences through Zoom. Sonia Gandhi used it for addressing the Congress Working Committee and state party chief’s meetings.

Chief Ministers Captain Amrinder Singh, Bhupesh Baghel, Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad, also used Zoom.

But why is Zoom app dangerous for India?

The founder of the app is Eric Yuan, a Chinese.

Anything Chinese now a days, since the outbreak of Covid pandemic, has come in for scrutiny and lot of flak. Almost all the nations are holding China responsible for the spread of the deadly disease.

Moreover, Zoom is under scrutiny for its data privacy and security practices. It is accused of not having end-to-end encryption and inadvertently leaking thousands of users’ personal emails and photos. This is happening because the firm is offering a form of encryption called transport encryption, which scrambles the content for external attackers, theoretically, but not for itself.

End-to-end encryption, actually, must ensure safety and security of the contents of a video meeting, from external attackers and Zoom itself.

Moreover, the Windows version of Zoom is vulnerable to attackers, who could send malicious links to users’ chat interfaces and gain access to their network credentials.

The firm also was slapped with a class-action lawsuit for allegedly hading data to Facebook.

The suit argues that the iOS version of Zoom’s app sends analytics to Facebook even to users who don’t have a Facebook account. Though it is common for apps to offer an option to log in with Facebook, but the firm has explicitly not stated in its privacy policy about sending data to Facebook.

The firm also is accused of sharing indecent images or other spam, popularly called Zoombombing, during Zoom calls, which is really a worrisome factof for many schools.

Google has banned employees from using Zoom on company computers as also Tesla, who raised security concerns.

India too joined the list of governments restricting the use of Zoom over security concerns.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had also red-flagged the platform following advisories issued by the national cyber-security agency – Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-in).

Though the advisories were issued on February 6 and March 30, the app continued to be in use. The CERT-in advisories had cautioned against the vulnerability of the app.

For private individuals wishing to use Zoom, the ministry issued detailed guidelines to prevent unauthorized entry in the conference room. The app is being used by ethical and non-ethical hackers to breach security bugs and make money.

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  1. Happy to Know that Indians are rejecting even cheap Chinese Household articles.

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