Zoom’s Encryption Is “Not Suited for Secrets”

Zoom’s Encryption Is “Not Suited for Secrets” (The Intercept)

MEETINGS ON ZOOM, the increasingly popular video conferencing service, are encrypted using an algorithm with serious, well-known weaknesses, and sometimes using keys issued by servers in China, even when meeting participants are all in North America, according to researchers at the University of Toronto.

The researchers also found that Zoom protects video and audio content using a home-grown encryption scheme, that there is a vulnerability in Zoom’s “waiting room” feature, and that Zoom appears to have at least 700 employees in China spread across three subsidiaries. They conclude, in a report for the university’s Citizen Lab — widely followed in information security circles — that Zoom’s service is “not suited for secrets” and that it may be legally obligated to disclose encryption keys to Chinese authorities and “responsive to pressure” from them.

Zoom's security has been hammered since last week. First, Zoom was caught sending user meta-data to Facebook, then deception around end-to-end encryption, and now this: Unfortunately, this is the software that most colleges and K-12 schools are using to provide remote instruction to students.

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Connection

a post by Colin WalkerColin Walker

Our opportunities to meet and talk have been removed so we must remake our connections digitally. For some than means social media or video apps, for me it means sharing words and thoughts, their passage from mind to page to screen.

It's not much in the grand scheme of things but it's something I can do every day, something I can control and that's all any of us want at the moment: just to feel like we have something that is within our power to influence seeing as so much is currently denied to us.

For Colin, it’s his words that provide connection. For me, it’s various photography related blogging challenges. We each have our thing to help us get through these interesting times.

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Will Shift to Remote Teaching Be Boon or Bane for Online Learning?

Will Shift to Remote Teaching Be Boon or Bane for Online Learning? (insidehighered.com)

The reality on the ground is that students and faculty are grasping for support while publishers, technology vendors and solutionist entrepreneurs are clamoring to provide it. “Black swan” may be a fitting description, but so might “disaster capitalism.”

... unfortunately, our lack of institutional planning, support and capacity building up to this point means many institutions will survive the current exigency by replicating and amplifying all the things we know not to do. For example, while we have learned in recent weeks that social distance is a good way to flatten an infection curve, *social interaction* is the key to effective online pedagogy.

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