Mazzone says parliament has learnt from porn incident to keep out the ‘naughty people’

Natasha Mazzone. Facebook.

The DA’s chief whip has told her party leader it hadn’t been accurate to refer to the people who disrupted a Zoom meeting as ‘hackers’.

It wasn’t an actual hack, according to DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone speaking to DA leader John Steenhuisen on the party’s streamed chat called Coronacast on Tuesday afternoon.

The pair were discussing various issues, including government’s response to Covid-19.

Discussing parliament’s meeting that had been hosted via Zoom and which ended abruptly after National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise was insulted and pornographic images were broadcast, Mazzone said the platform was not exactly hacked, but it was a result of government having shared login details to their meeting.

This fact had already been confirmed in previous reports on the incident.

The meeting, which was part of parliament’s programming committee chaired by Modise, had kicked off to a strange start as members of parliament who joined the meeting were greeted with images of pornography, as well as insults hurled at Modise. The meeting was immediately stopped as Modise called on technicians to sort out the incident.

While MPs expressed disgust over the incident, Mazzone pointed out to Steenhuisen that it may have been parliament’s careless action of sharing the login details to the platform on social media that had exposed them to “naughty” people.

While it was not the first parliamentary meeting hosted virtually that fell victim to a breach, Arthur Goldstuck from media and communications company World Wide Worx has pointed out that the decision to allow third parties or anyone to view meetings directly on Zoom was poorly informed.

In an eNCA report, Goldstuck said: “In the case of parliament, we not only saw them ignoring the basic rules of Zoom security but in fact issuing the invitation via Twitter, and providing the password for the meeting on Twitter, the most abused social platform in the world. So it really was a recipe for disaster.”

Parliament has since resolved to implement stricter measures in restricting access to their meetings an attempt to prevent a similar occurrence.

(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)

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