- Oklahoma City University’s Zoom graduation ceremony was interrupted by a show of “racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism” from hackers.
University President Martha Burger said the school has begun working with federal and state authorities and will pursue “every avenue to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.”
- Since coronavirus lockdown measures moved offices and classrooms across the US online, incidents on Zoom have interrupted online classes, corporate gatherings, and even virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
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A virtual graduation ceremony held on Zoom was interrupted by hackers on Saturday who launched “racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism,” the university said.
The graduating class from Oklahoma City University was listening to a student give a blessing when racial slurs and a swastika appeared on screens, CNN affiliate KFOR reported.
University President Martha Burger condemned the incident in a statement posted online.
“We are heartbroken and outraged at the hate-filled attack that occurred at the end of our virtual graduation celebration today,” Burger wrote. “During a time that should have been focused on recognising our graduating students, an unknown source was able to bypass the system and display racist and offensive language. I want to be clear, OCU stands against racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.”
The school, Burger said, has begun working with federal and state authorities and will pursue “every avenue to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.”
I cannot remove this pain and hurt, but I want you to know, that at OCU, we will continue to pursue the values that define us – values of integrity, respect, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration. We will work together to ensure that love, not hate, prevails. (4/5)
— Oklahoma City Univ. (@OKCU) May 9, 2020
Burger said that despite the university taking “safety precautions, unfortunately, the digital platform we used to connect has become a target.”
Since lockdown measures put in place amid the novel coronavirus pandemic moved offices and classrooms across the US online, Zoombombing has affected online classes, corporate gatherings, and even virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Insider’s Rachel Greenspan previously reported that the now-popular form of online trolling may be illegal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a 1986 amendment to computer fraud law meant to address hackers.
The CFAA “makes it illegal to intentionally access a computer without authorization or in excess of authorization,” according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that focuses on digital privacy.
Any potential prosecution rests on the identity of the Zoom-bomber, as the law hinges on unauthorised access to a call, and not abuse at the hands of someone who was invited.
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