The change in Zoom’s system gets close on the ends of the incident wherein video calling app Zoom took orders from the Chinese government to suspend accounts of two demonstrators who were commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
The technology, which is yet under development and is supposed to be rolled out in the coming days, could correctly be targeted at users in China whose accounts can be blocked at the request of Beijing.
Zoom has announced it will develop a new technology that will enable it to remove or block users at a local level. This indicates a user account can be blocked if their government demands so within the country’s borders, but it will work outside of it.
In addition to the technology that is expected to be released “over the next several days,” Zoom has added it will not allow the requests from the Chinese government to block users outside of mainland China.
The announcement also indicates that Zoom will consider the requests of Beijing for all the users in China, including those that urge the company to remove accounts permanently.
Earlier this week, Zoom admitted that it suspended the accounts of one Hong Kong- and two US-based users, who were involved in pro-democratic demonstrations to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, on the request of Beijing.
Although these accounts were restored shortly after the confession, China’s clutch on the popular video conferencing platform has grown eyebrows across the globe, specifically in the US, that has urged the company to get clean on its relationship with China.
Zoom’s latest move has rekindled the discussion over the censorship, followed by Beijing, with the US getting into action more promptly.
China has extensively blocked significant internet companies to operate in the mainland over its draconian rules of censorship. While vital internet services, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are banned in China, Zoom is available in the country, albeit with several conditions.
China directs the companies that are based outside of the country to store the data of their citizens within the borders. Besides, Beijing adjusts the flow of content within the country, so much so that it can ask companies to take steps such as removing a user account.
“We are improving our global policy to respond to these types of requests. We will outline this policy as part of our transparency report, to be published by June 30, 2020,” said Zoom in a blog post after it re-activated the accounts of the demonstrators.
Zoom’s demand surged after the global population went into lockdown and working from home. Built for enterprises, Zoom initially struggled to handle the need for servers and other requirements to tackle any overloads. Consequently, the video conferencing platform had one too many negative remarks in the past.