Info-tech

Elon Musk invites President of Russia for a chat on Clubhouse

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 14, 2021

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO   -  REUTERS

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Sunday invited Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia for a chat on the invite-only social media app Clubhouse.

“@KremlinRussia_E would you like join me for a conversation on Clubhouse?,” Musk tweeted on Sunday.

“It would be a great honor to speak with you (translated from Russian),” he added.

@KremlinRussia_E is the Twitter handle for the official account of the President of Russia

Musk has been quite active on the platform. The tech entrepreneur made his debut on Clubhouse with his first-ever in-person session earlier this month. He talked about a range of topics including Mars, space travel, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence and Covid-19 vaccines. The session saw a full house on the platform with over 5000 users listening in along with various livestreams on YouTube. Musk was also joined by Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood later during the session.

Mist recently, Musk has announced that he will be doing a Clubhouse session with rapper Kanye West.

“Just agree to do Clubhouse with @kanyewest,” Musk tweeted earlier this week.

The invite-only social media app has gained massive popularity recently. However, it came under the scanner earlier this week after a report from Stanford Internet Observatory highlighted potential vulnerabilities in the app’s infrastructure which could allow external parties to access users’ raw audio data.

“The Stanford Internet Observatory has confirmed that Agora, a Shanghai-based provider of real-time engagement software, supplies back-end infrastructure to the Clubhouse App,” it said in an official post detailing the same.

It further found that “a user’s unique Clubhouse ID number and chatroom ID are transmitted in plaintext, and Agora would likely have access to users’ raw audio, potentially providing access to the Chinese government.”

Clubhouse in a statement had said that it was working to strengthen its privacy measures. It further said that some people in China had found a workaround to download the app. This meant that until the app was blocked by China earlier this week, the conversations that these users were a part of could be transmitted via Chinese servers.

“With the help of researchers at the Stanford Internet Observatory, we have identified a few areas where we can further strengthen our data protection,” Clubhouse said in a statement as published by SIO.

“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,” it said.

Published on February 14, 2021

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