Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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Clubhouse takes a site offline on which you could secretly listen in

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The affected user has been permanently banned from the platform, the app’s spokesperson told Bloomberg. Clubhouse also promises ‘guarantees’ to prevent repeated forwarding of calls.

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The site made it possible for anyone to use Clubhouse through the site creator’s account. It was possible to listen in without entering ‘rooms’ in the Clubhouse. Other users will not notice that someone is listening in.

Conversations could also be recorded. That function is emphatically missing from the Clubhouse app: the conditions of the app prohibit the recording of conversations.

‘Thought conversations were private’

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The real problem is people thought their conversations were once private,” he says Robbert Potter from security company Internet 2.0.

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The piping was possible because Clubhouse works together with the company Agora, based in Shanghai, for its data traffic and audio production. This was already discovered last week by researchers at the Stanford Internet Observatory. Thanks to the collaboration, the unknown maker could, as it were, stand between the audio conversations and the Clubhouse app and route conversations.

‘No promise of privacy’

“Clubhouse cannot make any privacy promise for conversations that take place worldwide,” said Alex Stamos, head of the Stanford Internet Observatory and former Facebook security chief.

Clubhouse users should assume that all their conversations can be recorded, according to Stamos.

More than 8 million users

Clubhouse is growing fast: in February the app was downloaded almost 5 million times, more than in the whole of last year combined. In total, there are more than 8 million users worldwide, while the app is only available for iPhones. Also, people can only register as a new user if they have been invited by someone.

Interest is also increasing in the Netherlands: a fake account in the name of Prime Minister Mark Rutte had almost 10,000 followers before it was removed by Clubhouse.

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