A few weeks ago we reported that troubled video conferencing company Zoom was set to offer end to end encryption for video calls, but only for paying customers.
The company said this was to allow them to easily work together with law enforcement requests and prevent their platform being used for illegal activity.
It appears the backlash related to the announcement and the recent furore around the silencing of an American citizen participating on a Zoom-based Tiananmen Square event has caused the company to reconsider.
Today the company announced they will indeed offer end to end encryption to both paying and free users, but with one proviso.
To make End to End Encryption (E2EE) possible, Free/Basic users seeking access to E2EE will be required to verify themselves via a phone number and a text message. This is similar to 2Factor Authentication and Zoom says it is often used to prevent the creation of hundreds of malicious accounts on other platforms.
Zoom plan to begin early beta of the E2EE feature in July 2020.
E2EE will be an optional feature as it limits some meeting functionality, such as the ability to include traditional PSTN phone lines or SIP/H.323 hardware conference room systems. Hosts will toggle E2EE on or off on a per-meeting basis.
All Zoom users will continue to use AES 256 GCM transport encryption as the default encryption, and account administrators can enable and disable E2EE at the account and group level.
Do the changes encourage our users to trust Zoom once again? Let us know below.