Technology

Amid pressure, Zoom will end-to-end encrypt all calls, free or paid

Stylized photo of a computer screen with the image of a padlock.

Enlarge (credit: Yuri Samoilov Follow / Flickr)

Under pressure from privacy and human rights advocates, Zoom said on Wednesday that it will make end-to-end encryption available to both paying and non-paying users of its video conferencing service.

Previously, Zoom said it would provide end-to-end encryption to paying customers and a less-robust form of encryption, known as transit encryption, to non-paying customers. Zoom said the two-tier offering would allow law enforcement to regulate illicit content coming from users who don’t have accounts and, hence, are harder to track. Paying users, by contrast, had more traceability and, hence, were less likely to use the platform for illegal purposes.

Critics in privacy and human rights circles said the Zoom plans threatened to make privacy a premium feature rather than something that’s available by default. The critics called on Zoom to provide the same protections for all users.

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