NATIONAL NEWS - When National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise reported for duty on Thursday morning to chair a virtual meeting of the National Assembly’s programming committee, she was instead met with racial insults from an unknown group of people who had joined the meeting.
The meeting was being held on video conferencing application, Zoom, which has been under fire over the last month or so for security flaws in its system.
The “hackers” then goaded Modise to bare her breasts before spamming the meeting with graphic pornographic images.
EWN reports that Modise adjourned the meeting after instructing that technicians sort out the problem but was determined that the meeting should take place.
MPs reportedly described the incident as “sick” and “disturbing”.
A meeting convened by Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disability Maite Nokoana-Mashabane suffered the same fate last month.
According to Zoom founder and chief executive Eric Yuan, the app had some 200 million free and paid users in March as a result of the surge in usage around the world by people turning to remote meetings and school instruction as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued last month, Yuan pledged to step up privacy and safety controls after a series of complaints about the application.
He promised that the company would be “shifting all our engineering resources to focus on our biggest trust, safety, and privacy issues.”
Yuan said Zoom would work with third-party experts and users on a review “to understand and ensure the security of all of our new consumer use cases” and step up a “bug bounty” program to find security weaknesses.
The move came after the FBI highlighted the problem of “Zoombombing” by hackers or uninvited guests who harass Zoom video conferences with hate speech or pornography.