South Africa parliament’s Zoom meeting interrupted by porn images, raise Security concerns

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Furious: National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise; File Photo

By Ash Kings

South Africa’s National Assembly committee’s virtual meeting was interrupted by porn images suspected to be from a hacker.

The meeting had barely started at 9am, literally 50 seconds in, and was still dealing with the first item on the agenda when porn images appeared on the screen.

As pornographic image flashed across the screen, a male voice was heard making insulting remarks to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise which confirmed the system had been hacked into.

MPs expressed their disgust but more images and insults followed, and the virtual meeting was ended.

A week earlier, the committee meeting raised concerns about how secure the Zoom platform is.

This happened as DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone was proposing an agenda item to discuss the functioning and running of parliament’s virtual meetings.

“This is exactly what I said about Zoom!” exclaimed a shocked Modise.

This comes after several countries expressed concern about the security of an application that has become hugely popular worldwide during the coronavirus lockdown.

Last week, India said the videoconferencing software Zoom is “not a safe platform.” Taiwan and Germany have already curbed the use of Zoom, while Google banned the desktop version from corporate laptops this month.

House chairperson Cedric Frolick said at that meeting he was in discussions about how to get a more secure connection.

Minutes later, the meeting resumed over the Microsoft Teams platform. This is the platform that has been used for most committee meetings since Parliament resumed its functions two weeks ago.

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