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Technology 8 June 2020

The Week in Internet News: Zoom Says End-to-End Encryption Only for Paying Users

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

No free encryption: Popular videoconferencing service Zoom has promised to roll out end-to-end encryption, but it won’t provide encrypted service to free users, The Verge reports. The decision allows Zoom to share information about free conference with law enforcement agencies. Zoom doesn’t want to give free users end-to-end encryption “because we also want to work together with the FBI, with local law enforcement, in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose,” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said.

A big spike: Internet use has gone up dramatically in rural India in recent weeks, with people flocking to YouTube, Netflix, and other services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Inc42.com reports. Data consumption on the BharatNet fiber backbone nearly tripled, to 150 Terabytes in May from 55 TB in January. During the same timeframe, Netflix use in rural India grew by 422 percent, with YouTube and Facebook growing by 219 percent and 374 percent, respectively.

Broadband challenges: The government of Nigeria has a new broadband plan with a goal of increasing download speeds to 25 Mbps in urban areas and 10 Mbps in rural areas, Quartz Africa says. The country now has a mean download speed of less than 1.6 Mbps. But there are some roadblocks, with many state governments levying significant right of way charges for telecoms and ISPs to lay infrastructure.

Anonymous collection: China has privacy regulations similar to the EU’s GDPR, but collection of “anonymized” data allows companies to skirt the rules, Technode says. Chinese courts’ definition of anonymous data is vague and “allows companies to sell consumer data with impunity.”

Illegal shut down: The Indonesia government’s shutdown of Internet service in the Papua and West Papua provinces last year due to antiracism protests was not legal, the Jakarta State Administrative Court, The Jakarta Post reports. Judges ruled that the government had violated a 1959 State Emergency Law by imposing the Internet blackout while failing to prove that Indonesia was in a state of emergency.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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