Secure enterprise communication platform, Zoom, on has just announced that it has absorbed encrypted social communication and file sharing platform, Keybase. According to a statement published by the firm, Zoom may soon take on a few of the Keybase app’s encryption laden security characteristics.
Zoom currently employs industry standard encryption to secure user communications. All encryption is based on AES-GCM technology, with 256-bit keys. Incorporating Keybase’s expert team of engineers – who have live and breathed encryption for the past six years – into the Zoom team is expected to be a boon for the communication platform. The move, Zoom hopes, will enable the video conferencing giant to scale their security to match their current user base.
The firm will be borrowing heavily from Keybase’s encryption infrastructure, not only to add new bells and whistles to the Zoom platform, but also to make their encryption processes less centralized. Zoom encryption is currently executed by a central server system
Future iterations of the conferencing platform will feature a system that generates ‘public cryptographic identities’ for logged-in user, which will be stored in a repository on the Zoom network (Zoom may be hinting at going decentralized). Users will then be able to use said identities to establish ‘trust relationships’ with meeting attendees. By this, Zoom aims to improve attendee authentication process in order to better secure private communications, while eliminating the risk of sensitive information falling to an unauthorized third party.
Zoom offers it’s 300+ million strong user base (including executives of some of the world’s largest companies) as crisp video experience, and will soon offer top grade encryption for global captains of industry.
In addition to letting readers in on internal plans for the near future, Zoom reiterated their commitment to ensuring that their platform is never used for nefarious activity. The firm also intends to enhance malicious use reporting through collaboration with it’s.
The platform also restated it’s commitment to never eavesdropping on user conversations, or developing a mechanisms to decrypt live meetings to allow law enforcement access to information shared in those discussions. They also refuted rumors that they can insinuate members of Zoom staff into user meetings
As a show of their dedication to remaining transparent, Zoom will be publishing a draft of the cryptographic infrastructure they plan to implement. They aim to subject the proposal to public scrutiny and rework it in accordance with feedback. Reminiscent of the white-paper era of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.
While it is, as yet, unclear how the acquisition may affect Keybase, in the long term, it is abundantly clear that Zoom is preparing for a future with significantly less real-life human interaction. As a result of the global Covid-19 lockdown, Zoom has experienced a spike in user numbers in recent months, along with a shift in overall user demographics.
The enterprise video conferencing platform turned backbone of modern communication has set about endeavoring to ensure that platform hosted communication reaches intended recipients and no others. Which may put a damper on workplace and general community culture.
As for the Zooms plans for the Keybase brand, the conferencing giant remains mum. They could either let Keybase persist as a standalone brand, or absorb it’s userbase into the Zoom ecosystem – assuming they don’t kill it completely. For now, Keybase users are left in the dark as to whether or not the platform will still exist a few months from now. While the acquisition is great news for Keybase’s development team, it casts doubt, among users, about the app’s continued existence.
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