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India says 'Zoom is a not a safe platform' and bans government users

Holey vid chat service reveals 're-architect' of bug bounty program to 'get overall security house in order'

India has effectively banned videoconferencing service Zoom for government users and repeated warnings that consumers need to be careful when using the tool.

The nation's Cyber Coordination Centre has issued advice (PDF) titled "Advisory on Secure use of Zoom meeting platform by private individuals (not for use by government offices/officials for official purpose)".

The document refers to past advisories that offered advice on how to use Zoom securely and warned that Zoom has weak authentication methods. Neither of those notifications mentioned policy about government use of the tool, meaning the new document is a significant change in position!

The document is otherwise a comprehensive-if-dull guide to using Zoom securely.

It comes as India has decided to become self-sufficient by crowdsourcing a Zoom-like service in a competition that will award the winner fat government contracts.

Zoom, meanwhile, has announced it will "re-architect" its bug bounty program as part of an effort to "help get Zoom's overall security house in order". The company today blogged about its recent security enhancements such as routing around China and detailed its expected progress in coming days.

India, meanwhile, continues to involve its tech industry in its coronavirus response. After yesterday letting IT workers back into the office ahead of many other sectors, the nation has granted a four-month rent holiday to the small businesses and startups that typically tenant the 60 government-run Software Technology Parks of India. The decision is expected to protect 3,000 jobs. ®

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