Technology

Agaric Web Development Ttechnology Cooperative has been using BigBlueButton video chat to host several organizations for a while with excellent results.

The BigBlueButton video conferencing software is a feature-rich Free/Libre Software designed with the specific focus of online learning. BigBlueButton is well equipped for a variety of collaborative uses:

  • streaming movies
  • breakout rooms
  • presentation sharing
  • screen sharing
  • private messaging
  • drawing board
  • language choice
  • recording
  • more…

Why not just use Zoom, or Skype or any proprietary chat?

Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, most of our social interactions have transitioned onto the Internet. Many people have chosen Skype or Zoom as their video conferencing platform of choice. Skype hackers were able to spoof messages on the system after using lists of stolen usernames and passwords to gain access to accounts. This is just one incident in a pretty long list of breaches. Note that a Corporation may have verbiage in their privacy policy that allows them to keep it a secret when their/your data is stolen or hacked. Since Black Lives Matter protests have erupted around the globe following the murder of George Floyd, the visibility of police brutality has increased. In addition, the usage of racist surveillance technologies is on the rise. In a public statement, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan shared that “Zoom will work together with the FBI and local law enforcement, in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose.” Our question would be: Who determines the meaning of ‘bad purpose’?

By blocking activists accounts, Yuan is suggesting is that activists are criminals and might be using Zoom for a bad purpose. Might that bad purpose be to disrupt the status quo? To upend patriarchy? To demand rights for the oppressed in a society that provides them no mechanism to be heard or affect change?

There was a small outcry, but it died down swiftly and people happily continue to pay money to Zoom. We now have an alternative solution with BigBlueButton and no longer need to be held hostage…

Zoom is a propietary Software, a black box, that the public is not allowed to peer inside of. We do not know what information it is saving about our usage of the software. A Zoom user installs the software on their computer and they do not know entirely what it does: what it collects from your computer, what it shares, with whom it shares, and what they do with that information. What we do know for sure is that Zoom has access to your camera and microphone and is prepared to give as much to the police and the FBI as they can without being noticed.

Our intention is to render invasive insecure surveillance technologies extinct by providing an alternative service that entirely respects your privacy.

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