Posted on April 11, 2020 at 12:06 PM
Teachers in Singapore will no longer use zoom to facilitate their online teaching, as the government has recently banned its use by teachers.
The decision of the Singaporean government is in reaction to the recent obscene images that were posted on zoom screens by hackers.
One of the incidents is obscene images appearing on the zoom screens of some teenage girls attending geography class. The images show male strangers making vulgar comments during the geography lessons. This is coming a week after the country began an indefinite lockdown as a measure to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
When the lockdown began, teachers and students decided to meet in classes online. Zoom became one of the popular video-conferencing tools for that. However, with the cyber attack currently going on this platform, the Singaporean government could order a return to a physical teaching environment.
Many other countries such as Turkey and Argentina, who imposed similar lockdown, extended the stay-at-home order yesterday. As a result, millions of businesses are trying to sustain their operations via teleconferencing.
Zoom growing in popularity but facing challenges
The video conferencing service of Zoom has grown in popularity as many people and organizations are utilizing its teleconferencing services in this period. However, the platform is facing a series of security challenges, as hackers are not relenting in their efforts to exploit.
The conferencing app has also faced a series of safety and privacy issues. Apart from the embarrassing moment those Singaporean students had to face, some British cabinet ministers also raised security concerns over the use of the app.
A temporary ban on Zoom for online classes
Singapore’s minister of education, Aaron Loh, said yesterday that the incident is a serious one. The ministry will lodge a complaint to the police if needed, but it’s still investigating the incident that led to the breach. As a result, it’s taking a precautionary measure to temporarily suspend the use of Zoom for online teaching.
According to Loh, “As a precautionary measure, our teachers will suspend their use of Zoom until these security issues are ironed out.”
He further said the education ministry would offer advice to teachers on proper security measures like keeping meeting links within students in the class and setting up secure log-ins for the class sessions.
Germany and Taiwan have banned the use of Zoom, while Google has banned its desktop version from business laptops. Apart from these bans, Zoom is also in the heat of a lawsuit battle over safety concerns of the app.
Zoom dedicated to ensuring secure use of the platform
Janine Pelosi, Zoom’s chief marketing officer, said the company is concerned about the incident. The firm is committed to offering educators with the resources and tools they need to offer their services most securely.
As a result, the teleconferencing firm recently updated the settings for its education users to set up virtual waiting rooms. It will also make sure that only the hosts have access to share screens by default. According to Pelosi, the idea is to make the use of the platform as secure as possible, eliminating any loopholes hackers would use to explore.
The decision of the Singaporean government is coming after Google and Apple said they are collaborating to utilize Smartphone technology to trace and prevent the spread of coronavirus. They are providing the platform where advanced “contact-tracing apps” would be utilized to track those who may likely spread the virus to others.
South Korea developing tracking wristbands
Similarly, South Korea is planning to develop a technology that will enable its government to track those who defy quarantine orders. The tracking wristbands would be worn by those who defy the orders, to help easily track those that may be infected.
However, the plans to strap tracking wristbands on individuals have been opposed by human rights activists who see the action as a serious violation.
Other countries across the world are also implementing their strategies to contain the virus, with many extending the lockdown order and providing relief materials to facilitate strict compliance.