LA Public Service Commission ends virtual meeting after Zoom users share images of pornography

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Zoom meeting (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — A public meeting was halted in Baton Rouge after several Zoom users began sharing their screens showing pornography.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission’s meeting Wednesday was set to discuss utilities following Hurricane Ida.

LPSC Executive Secretary Brandon Frey said, “Our I.T. staff was extremely diligent in immediately shutting down and blocking these fraudulent accounts as soon as they posted, however, there were multiple accounts involved. Once they were all removed, the meeting went forward without further interruptions.”

Frey said the LPSC is a public body and must conduct meetings, whether live or virtual, in accordance with open meetings laws.

“Consequently, the link to the Commission’s virtual meeting is published on social media and official websites to allow for potential public comment,” Frey said.

“Unfortunately, this also subjects us to the possibility of being “hacked” by outsiders. Certain protocols are in place to prevent unauthorized participation, and in fact they have been very successful. In the past year and a half of conducting virtual meetings, only one prior incident of an unauthorized user hacking into the meeting.”

WGNO reached out to Louisiana State Police to see if the agency was investigating the incident. We have not received a response.

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