U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is urging his colleagues in Congress to stop using Zoom even as several have had to rely on video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kinzinger, R-Channahon, called the reliance on video conferencing during the pandemic "critical to staying connected," according to a news release. He noted the use of Zoom had grown more than 675% during the pandemic, but he added there were reasons to take pause.
"Despite its popularity in use, I have become increasingly concerned by the platform’s censoring on behalf of the Chinese government, as well as security vulnerabilities," Kinzinger said in the release.
The congressman cited reports from pro-democracy activists in the U.S. and Hong Kong in which their Zoom accounts were "shut down" for sharing videos and holding vigils commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.
He also said Zoom has admitted to routing information through China, which would allow the Chinese government to access the information through its own laws.
Kinzinger added he was also concerned about the encryption of information on the platform and its use among federal agencies. In fact, he said, the British government has been instructed to not use the platform.
"Given these concerns with Zoom and the availability of other video platforms, federal business should not be conducted on this platform until these concerns can be alleviated," Kinzinger said in the release.
He added he would introduce legislation to address the issue.