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Zoom adds new security measures to stop homophobes and racists from “zoombombing”

Lily Wakefield May 9, 2020
zoombombing

Joining a Zoom meeting uninvited as a form of trolling is a fast-growing trend. (Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

Zoom will soon be introducing to security measures to prevent homophobes and racists from “zoombombing” video calls.

Zoombombing, joining a Zoom meeting uninvited as a form of trolling, is becoming a fast-growing trend as many people turn to video calls to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues.

Members of the LGBT+ community have reported being zoombombed with homophobic abuse, while a number of people have had their video calls interrupted with nudity and hardcore pornography.

According to the BBC, Zoom has announced new security measures to combat the trend.

Zoom users will need a password for all meetings.

Starting Saturday (May 9), all users with a free account must use a password for all meetings.

From May 30 an additional new level of encryption will also be introduced for all Zoom users, which the company said will “provide increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering”.

The deputy editor of ProPrivacy, Jo O’Reilly, said that these measures “may be enough to get consumers back on board”.

But with many workplaces using Zoom to stay connected, O’Reilly warned the updates are not enough to stop big companies from ditching the video call platform.

O’Reilly told the BBC: “If they want to turn the tide of big companies and government moving away from using Zoom, it is going to take more than superficial fixes such as enforced passwords.

“The bigger issues such as the of the lack of end-to-end encryption, making it unsuitable for commercially or politically sensitive meetings, are much trickier to solve.”

LGBT+ community zoombombed with slurs and porn.

Last month, an LGBT+ activist and chef was attacked with an anti-Asian, racist, homophobic zoombombing while simply trying to give a cooking class for her community.

J Chong, a sous chef at a North Carolina restaurant, wanted to provide some simple, accessible cooking classes for people in self-isolation.

But she said: “Thirty minutes or so into my spinach pesto making virtual class, my laptop screen became flooded with newcomers joining the class… all of a sudden, we hear vicious slurs come over the speakers – ‘faggot’, ‘dyke’, ‘lesbian’… ‘You f**king c***k! You c***k, the coronavirus is happening because of you!'”

Queer comedian Cameron Esposito also revealed that she was zoombombed with hardcore porn during a virtual book tour conference.

 

 

More: Coronavirus, homophobic, racist, social distancing, video call, video conference, Zoom, zoombombing

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