Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi slammed Zoom over security concerns when talking about Congress remotely voting, mistakenly calling the American firm “Chinese.” Both her logic and motives have quickly fallen under suspicion.
“People think we can do Congress by Zoom. Zoom is a Chinese entity that we’ve been told not to even trust the security of,” Pelosi told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes this week when questioned about Congress not meeting before the first week of May.
Zoom is a video conferencing app that has been utilized by many companies with employees working remotely and has shot to prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also been used by schools for online classes.
While the app has come under question for routing calls through China – which its CEO says happened “mistakenly” – it is an American company headquartered in San Jose, California, that has been in existence for nine years.
“What a ridiculous evasion,” writer Sam Adler-Bell tweeted in reaction to Pelosi’s comments, adding that Zoom is only one of many remote options for Congress. By waving off remote voting potentials, Adler-Bell wrote, Pelosi is taking “absolute control over the caucus.”
“With most reps at home dealing with constituent needs, she’s effectively the only Democratic legislator right now,” he tweeted.
Also what a ridiculous evasion. As if Zoom is the only option.This is what I’m talking about. Without remote voting, Pelosi has absolute control over the caucus. With most reps at home dealing with constituent needs, she’s effectively the only Democratic legislator right now. https://t.co/znK6Sh2jhu
“Pelosi pretending the only remote voting option possible is Zoom calls routed through China is about as serious as Trump saying the virus would disappear through a ‘miracle,’” Huffington Post writer Zach Carter added.
Pelosi pretending the only remote voting option possible is Zoom calls routed through China is about as serious as Trump saying the virus would disappear through a “miracle.”
Pelosi admits Covid-19 presents an “emergency” for the country, but Congress is still looking into “what is allowed under the Constitution, under the rules of the House, what is possible technologically, but we haven’t gotten to that.”
Meanwhile, others tried to find the origin of Pelosi’s belief that Zoom is a “Chinese entity” – even suggesting she may have “confusion” over the ethnicity of its CEO.
“Is ‘routing calls through China’ the explanation here as to why Pelosi thought Zoom was a ‘Chinese entity’ or is anyone going to point out the CEO of Zoom is a Chinese-American and this is also maybe, perhaps the reason for her confusion,” writer Adam H. Johnson tweeted.
You’re not gonna find a bigger China hawk than I am but, um… https://t.co/DP2wGAr2lZ
While far from being the only video conferencing app, as Zoom is used more and more, it has faced a wave of questions about security concerns. The New York City Department of Education, for instance, told educators not to use the service as hackers could infiltrate video conferences and troll with expletives or inappropriate imagery, though the issue can likely be chalked up to the culture of the web more than to the app itself.
Eric Yuen, the company’s CEO, admitted to NPR last week he had not thought about online harassment “seriously” before it became an issue with more widespread usage.
He promised the company will “transform our business to a privacy-and-security-first mentality” following the well-publicized missteps.
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