Clubhouse Tightens Security Measures After Potential Backdoor to China Discovered

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 13 Feb 2021


A new report claims that Clubhouse, the popular social audio media app, has tightened its security measures after the company’s founder discovered a potential backdoor to China. Changes will be pushed in the next 72-hours, claims Clubhouse’s CEO.

Clubhouse is an invite-only audio-based social media app that’s been picking up lately. The app crashed after Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, and Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg joined the platform. Facebook is also known to be developing a similar Clubhouse-like audio-based feature for its app. If you want to know more about the app, about all the features, and why it is so popular, check out the amazing article written by our team.

Read: What Is Clubhouse? Why Is It So Popular?

Coming back to the report, The Stanford Internet Observatory has found that the infrastructure for the Clubhouse app is provided by Agora, a China-based provider. Since Agore is based out of China, it has to comply with Chinese cybersecurity laws that opens up a possibility for government surveillance. Even though Agora claims that it doesn’t store any data on its server, the Chinese government can ‘tap into’ Agora’s networks at any given time, and record data from the traffic.

It’s also been found that the unique Clubhouse character ID and the chatroom ID are transmitted via plaintext, which isn’t encrypted. This makes the data traceable, not only to China but to the whole world. The report by Stanford Internet Observatory claims that these security issues are “relatively easy to uncover.”

To these claims, Clubhouse has said:

“We’re deeply committed to data protection and user privacy. Over the next 72 hours, we are rolling out changes to add additional encryption and blocks to prevent Clubhouse clients from ever transmitting pings to Chinese servers. We also plan to engage an external data security firm to review and validate these changes.”

We Want to Hear From You

What are your thoughts on Clubhouse’s links to China? Have you used the app yet? What features do you like? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!