SpaceX has reportedly told its employees to stop using the video-conferencing app Zoom, citing "significant privacy and security concerns."
As millions of people around the world work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak, Zoom has seen a massive surge in usage and has become the video meeting app of choice for many. However, it seems like SpaceX workers will now have to look for an alternative platform to conduct its meetings and conferences as the usage of the app has been banned by the Elon Musk-owned company.
SpaceX tells workers to stop using Zoom
According to Reuters, an email sent to the company's employees on Saturday said that all access to Zoom had been disabled with immediate effect. "We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support," SpaceX said in the email dated March 28. "Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication."
The email added that the decision to prohibit the use of Zoom was taken due to "significant privacy and security concerns" over the teleconferencing software. Reuters also noted that a spokeswoman for NASA confirmed that the agency, which is one SpaceX's biggest customers, has also prohibited its employees from using Zoom.
Zoom a threat to national security?
With Zoom's increased popularity, its security and data privacy practices have also drawn a lot of attention. From a lawsuit over sharing user data with Facebook, its built-in attention tracking feature, to recent reports of "zoom-bombing," in which unwanted strangers hijack Zoom calls and disrupt meetings, prompting the FBI's Boston Office to issue an official warning against it.
These practices have also drawn the scrutiny of New York's Attorney General Letitia James, who sent Zoom a letter asking what, if any, new security measures the company has put in place to protect its users privacy, given the surge in traffic on its network.
On Tuesday, investigative news outlet The Intercept published a report stating that the teleconferencing software is not end-to-end encrypted. Adding to the Zoom's woes, on Wednesday, security researchers found two more bugs with the software new bugs that can be exploited by hackers to gain access to a Zoom user's Mac, including tapping into the computer's webcam and microphone.
SpaceX's ban on Zoom is an indication of ow important privacy and security are to aerospace manufacturers like SpaceX and NASA, who develop technology that can be deemed vital to national security and the challenges they face as they try to keep their employees safe from the highly contagious coronavirus.