With containment, many are those who have discovered the work from home, and with him the most characteristic of the work at a distance: video conferencing service. There are several, but it is Zoom who has the most to say about him, and whose use has extended to areas extra-curricular, for the homework, the lectures, or even photo shoots pictures and plays online! But the new online tools still come with their share of data security issues and sovereignty. What are the alternatives French, to avoid the risks associated with hosting services abroad?
Zoom, a huge success and a “Zoom-bashing” violent
The platform Zoom is the one that has benefited the most from the rush to online tools, triggered by the containment measures. According to its latest report, published June 2, 2020, Zoom experienced a growth of 169%, an increase of 354% of its users. According to Eric Yuan, founder and general director of Zoom, the crisis of the Covid-19, and the containment measures have contributed to this unprecedented growth.
But Zoom is far from being the platform of videoconferencing favorite of the French. The tool has been heavily criticized for its security flaws and it is seen as a danger by the academics who are reluctant to its use for the monitoring of the examinations online.
In an interview for The Mag IT, Loïc Rousseau, responsible Zoom for France, spoke about the severe criticism on the part of the competition. According to him, Microsoft, Google and Cisco are not the best students, they have cracks by the hundreds, and nobody talks about it… The bug bounty (hunters of flaws) were able to be recruited by the competition to identify their areas of weaknesses which, according to the platform security, there is no problem.
Some companies have even banned its use in-house. In France, the adoption of Zoom has not been as unanimous as in other countries.
The Cloud Act, one of the reasons to support the sovereignty
As for the data on health, hosted by Microsoft, the use of platforms based in the US, such as Zoom, implies a risk of access by the intelligence services of the State, enabled by the Cloud Act. Metadata, such as IP addresses, may be requested to Zoom by the u.s. government in the event of an investigation.
According to Rousseau, this does not preclude Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson for a meeting with the WHO for example) or strategic players such as Airbus, using this platform. Airbus has, furthermore, said also use Google tools.
According to Loïc Rousseau, the CEO of Zoom will never accept the implementation of a query based on the CLOUD Act, or the Patriot Act, and many american companies have rejected these claims in a variety of ways and varied.
What alternatives are there in france? Jitsi better than Zoom?
The question has been asked on Twitter by Rand Hindi, entrepreneur in the field of AI: “Why is there no one in France does not speak of sovereignty over the tools of video conferencing?”. Some of the actors offer tools made in France: Fully Livestorm, Jamespot, Private Chat, … are some alternatives, some of which are based on the open source software Jitsi.
Born in France, Jitsi is a free software which allows other services to create their own video conferencing application. The data is encrypted and secured with a second layer of encryption which allows secure messages end-to-end (not yet for more than two participants). Jitsi is used by many developers and it specialists and has even received the “blessing” of Edward Snowden! This open source project is used by approximately 10 million people on a monthly basis and is important success in France, even if the company was sold in 2018 and a us company.
Some experts predict a bright future for this solution, which could take advantage of the importance of the sovereignty of the digital tools of video conferencing: “We have made the choice to Jitsi because we see it happening a lot. We control what happens and it goes in the right direction, ” confirms Alain Garnier, Jamespot, social network service of a French company.