Retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, the former National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, has joined the board of Zoom, the video conferencing platform that has been plagued by security issues and concerns about communist China.
Usage on the platform has skyrocketed since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdowns, with hundreds of millions around the world now using the platform to conduct meetings. The platform’s users jumped twentyfold in the first quarter of 2020, from 10 million in December to 200 million by the end of the first quarter.
However, Zoom’s rapid rise has brought with it heightened scrutiny, particularly around the platform’s security vulnerabilities.
A former NSA hacker discovered that hackers can use Zoom to secretly record users via their webcams and microphones. In March, the New York Attorney General sent a letter to Zoom expressing concern about the platform’s privacy protections. And Google has banned the app from its employees’ computers over security worries.
Zoom’s links to China are also under scrutiny. Members of the U.K. Parliament, who have been using Zoom to conduct official business, have been warned not to use the platform to discuss confidential matters, over concerns that Chinese spies may be listening in.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued similar warnings, alleging that the app’s Chinese workforce could spy on behalf of Beijing. In April, Zoom admitted that some of its users’ video calls had been routed through China without their knowledge.
H.R. McMaster joined the Trump administration as National Security Adviser in 2017, and left the post a year later in 2018. A favorite of the Democrat-supporting media, McMaster’s tenure was marked by successive reports of his anti-Trump views, with one report suggesting that the retired general privately said that the President has the intelligence of a “kindergartner.”
McMaster is also a board member of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy establishment think-tank that is helping Facebook meddle in elections around the world.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.