The popular video-conferencing app Zoom is working on new features that will make it possible to block users based on their geographical location. Lately, the company has confessed that they have suspended 3 user accounts located in Hong Kong and the US at the orders of the Chinese government.
Zoom to Add New Blocking Features
Consequently, Zoom came under severe criticism for suspending the accounts, which were conferences to commemorate the June 4th Tiananmen Square massacre. Eventually, the company later reinstated those accounts and reported in a blog post that it was designing tools to allow targeted blocking.
The company stated that,
Zoom is developing technology over the next several days that will enable us to remove or block at the participant level based on geography. This will enable us to comply with requests from local authorities when they determine activity on our platform is illegal within their borders.
Furthermore, the authorities told that the Chinese government informed in the month of May and early June that a total of four meetings commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre would be taking place.
According to officials working at Zoom, “The Chinese government informed us that this activity is illegal in China and demanded that Zoom terminate the meetings and host accounts”.
In addition to that, the company stated that they did not transfer any user information or meeting content to the Chinese government. Zoom claimed that they don’t have a backdoor that allows anyone to enter a meeting without being visible.
In the end, the company expressed its desire towards improving its global policy to respond to these sorts of requests. Zoom will outline this policy as part of its transparency report, to be published by June 30, 2020.