SpaceX bans Zoom video conferencing app citing significant security threats

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, has banned its employees from using Zoom, a video conferencing app, following “significant privacy and security concerns”, according to an internal memo.

The development comes days after U.S. law enforcement agencies warned users about security concerns regarding the popular app.

With many Americans quarrantined in their homes because of the Wuhan Coronavirus, the usage of digital communications, including that of Zoom, has soared.

SpaceX’s ban on Zoom Video Communications Inc underscores growing challenges faced by aerospace manufacturers as they develop technologies that are strategic to national security while also trying to keep employees safe from the fast spreading COVD-19 disease that came from China.

In an email dated March 28, SpaceX told employees 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,” said SpaceX in the message. “Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication.”

SpaceX’s representative did not respond to requests for comments.

NASA also prohibits its employees from using Zoom, said Stephanie Schierholz, NASA’s spokeswoman.

On Monday, the FBI’s Boston office had issued a warning regarding Zoom, warning users not to make meetings on the site public or share video links following two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, in a phenomenon known as “zoombombing.”

Incidentally, Zoom video does not use end-to-end encryption between participants thus the company could view video sessions.

Zoom did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

California-based SpaceX is a defense contractor and has been classified as an essential business, allowing it to stay open through shutdowns.

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