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Video Conferencing App Zoom Acquires Encryption Startup Keybase

Video conferencing app Zoom has acquired end-to-end encryption start-up Keybase. The acquisition was announced on May 7, following multiple privacy and security-related scandals.

Zoom scandals include the rise of video conference gatecrashing (“zoombombing”), controversial data sharing with Facebook, false claims that video calls were encrypted, and revelations that nefarious actors were peddling half a million Zoom accounts on the darknet.

Big news! Keybase acquired by @zoom_us . Our post about it: — Chris Coyne (@malgorithms) May 7, 2020

Keybase will become a subsidiary of Zoom and its team will lead security engineering work to develop an end-to-end encryption feature available for paying customers.

Keybase was founded in 2014 and has received funding from the likes of:

  1. Andreessen Horowitz

  2. Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian

  3. The Stellar Development Foundation (with which it also launched a $120 million Stellar (XLM) airdrop in fall of last year)

Keybase’s secure messaging and cloud-based file-sharing services use public-key cryptography and offer a publicly-auditable directory for verifying digital identities. 

As part of its 90-day security plan to mitigate the issues exposed in recent scandals, Zoom says it plans to publish a detailed draft cryptographic design on May 22 and will host discussion sessions to solicit feedback from stakeholders, cryptographic experts, and the public.

On May 7, Keybase announced that as of yet there are no specific plans for the Keybase app following the acquisition but that ultimately its future is now “in Zoom’s hands.”

Recently, Zoom’s privacy and security drawbacks have spurred the development of blockchain-based video chat solutions, including a new dApp from Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) pioneer Vonage co-founder Jeff Pulver.


Source: Cointelegraph | Image: Unsplash

#security #Privacy #Cryptography #Keybase #encryption #zoom