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China and Taiwan aren't great friends. Zoom sends chats through China. So Taiwan has banned Zoom

Government and local business told to buy local, but slum it with Google or Microsoft if you must

A parliamentary order issued yesterday says the nation’s Department of Cyber Security (DCS) has decided that when government agencies, and some private entities, use videoconferencing: “The underlying video software to be used should not have associated security or privacy concerns, such as the Zoom video communication service.”

The order notes that Taiwan’s Cyber Security Management Act suggests buyers focus on local suppliers. But the order nonetheless acknowledges that may not be possible “for international exchanges or some other special situation”.

The order therefore advises: “Many global information and communications giants—like Google and Microsoft—are offering such technology for free amid the current pandemic. Organizations should certainly consider these options after evaluating any associated data security risks.”

The order doesn’t say why Taiwan doesn’t like Zoom. One likely reason is that the beleaguered meeting-wrangler has been observed routing chats through China. As Taiwan insists it is an independent nation but China classifies it as a rogue province, the prospect of governmental video chats being intercepted by Beijing is surely not welcome.

Nor will this news be welcome at Zoom, which has pledged to clean up its act after a week from hell in which it was found to have been rather careless about several aspects of its service’s security. ®

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