Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

0726, 13 Apr 20

Milwaukee Election Commission Abruptly Closes Virtual Meeting

These are the people you trust with ballot security and election integrity?

A city Election Commission meeting using the videoconferencing software Zoom was abruptly halted on Sunday afternoon shortly after it was hacked in a practice called Zoombombing.

Neil Albrecht, executive director of the commission, shut down the videoconference after radical Muslim and crude pornographic images and racial slurs began appearing on the computer screens of all those participating in the meeting.

It took Albrecht and the three commissioners a couple of minutes to realize that the meeting had been hijacked by anonymous outsiders. He then engaged in a brief conversation with an individual claiming to be a Zoom tech.

Assistant City Attorney Patrick McClain eventually ordered Albrecht to halt the videoconference. There were a couple of dozen people participating in or watching the meeting.

“It was an outrageous hack,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who is running for re-election, said just minutes after the meeting was Zoombombed.


Participants in the election commission meeting on Sunday did not have to enter a password to participate . 

This was not some sort of sophisticated hack by technical geniuses. THEY DIDN’T SET A PASSWORD! smh


0726, 13 April 2020


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Milwaukee is a liberal cesspool that cannot even do basic things correct.

    …and liberals want government to have more policy power?

  2. jjf

    If it was a public meeting, even if they had a password, they’d need to hand it out.  What they needed was some practice with moderating an online meeting.

    If someone disrupted an in-person meeting, they’d have a way to handle it.  But as we all know from any online space, anonymity breeds bravery coupled with poor behavior.

    You know, the mild-mannered proper choir director goes online and gets all hepped up on his new-found ability to call people names, and presto.

  3. Mar

    The real question is this: Why were they having a meeting Easter Sunday afternoon?

  4. Merlin

    Oh, yeah. You can trust the numbers coming out of Milwaukee tonight. They really know what they’re doing. They’re the best of the best at that election thingy stuff.

    We’re overdue for a Lena eruption.

  5. jjf

    Merlin, tell us what you’d like to do about all the problems:  ballots that were never mailed to people, ballots that people returned in good faith but that were stamped with “APR 2020” instead of a date, the Supremes inventing a postmark requirement, it goes on and on…

  6. dad29

    William Conley is the one who REALLY screwed up this election, with assistance from Barrett (self-preservation) and the Twit in Green Bay (who will likely lose the next election because of this.)

    If Conley hadn’t made such a hash of the election with his clearly-asinine ruling, …….

    Oh, well.

  7. jjf

    So Dad29, from where did the Supremes pull their postmark rule?

  8. Kevin Scheunemann


    Wow you have pathetic apologist for awful liberal bureaucrats down to a science.

    You would never cut Trump that much slack if someon put porn in his teleprompter.

    You like low standards…


  9. jjf

    And they did have a password on the meeting…  so Owen will need to stop imagining that happened.

    Kevin, what are you talking about?  What did I say that’s wrong?  I even predicted this sort of disruption of public meetings a few days ago, right here on the previous post on this blog.

  10. Mark Hoefert

    I wonder what level of security exits for any platforms that host virtual meetings.

    Several weeks ago the West Bend School District broadened their virtual meeting policy to include closed sessions.  It is permanent policy now.

    Considering the sensitive nature of the topics that allegedly can not be made public, is there an ironclad guarantee that some “oops” by an IT person or participant could not cause the meeting or contents to be released into the wild?

    JJF has stressed the importance of passwords and strong moderation, but are there other technical errors that could be made?


  11. Jason

    >And they did have a password on the meeting…  so Owen will need to stop imagining that happened.


    They published the password in a pubic document…. it’s just like not having a password.   time to take your post-it notes down, dummy.

  12. Kevin Scheunemann


    How about some ceiticism for lack of basic competence equal to what you dish out to Trump?

  13. Kevin Scheunemann


    How about some criticism for lack of basic competence equal to what you dish out to Trump?

  14. jonnyv

    Man, this is the wild west when it comes to people learning streaming technology right now.

    Why not take the zoom meeting and broadcast it to YouTube or Twitch?  Only give out the password to accredited news organizations in private (if questions needed to be asked). Or have people submit questions via a YouTube/Twitch chat room.

    I run a side business of doing live internet broadcasts, and some of the stuff that people are doing just makes me laugh. The shoddiness of nightly news, the poor quality and camera angles of guests. It is all very hack. This is what happens when companies don’t hire the proper people.

  15. jjf

    Basic competence.  In something they didn’t have to do before.  Got it.

    Are you in the real world, Kevin?  Been talking to anyone working from home lately?  Because this is how it is going out there.  Lots of people who didn’t ever play Zoom or GoToMeeting before.

    Trump?  He’s such an incompetent fool, and the history books will record him as such, well, if we survive long enough to have more history books.  Oh, for the days of a competent President!  It was only a few years ago.

  16. jjf

    JonnyV, again you’re asking for new techniques that they haven’t had to do before.  Who solves that problem for them?

  17. jonnyv

    jjf. They HAVE to have IT people of some sort.

    People are not thinking this thru. This is stuff that gaming streamers have been doing for years. All I am asking from anyone (companies & govt) is just do a LITTLE research.

  18. jjf

    Jason, did you read in the post where Owen says they didn’t set a password?

    Mark, good questions…  I’ve seen some GoToMeeting streams that are recorded quite nicely and left in the moderator’s cloud account.

    Recording closed sessions is something many people have wanted for a long time.  Yes, they’ll need to be careful with them, whether they were doing it with an audio recorder, or a video camera, or a recorded stream.

    But it would be nice to have a record that could be reviewed in camera by a judge if there’s ever a question about what happened.

  19. jjf

    JonnyV, in my experience in helping several government groups with this issue, it’s never easy.  They’re used to running their own meetings with paper and pencil or maybe a laptop.  Some of them are still holding a small in-person meeting.

    Now you’ve got audio questions, video questions…  can every0ne in the stream see and hear what’s happening in the room – the Powerpoint, the doc camera?  Vice-versa, can everyone in the room see and hear the stream?  Where’s the best audio – from the stream?  Did they have mics?  So now you’d like an extra IT-savvy person available in the room whenever they have a meeting, for as long as they have a meeting?

    Yeah, I’m sure someone’s doing a little research.  They were probably also busy figuring out how to add a few hundred people to the VPN.

  20. jonnyv

    jjf, yes. There are a lot of things to think about. And I understand that they are used to running the show. But the show has changed. It is the metaphor of working on a car from the 70’s and suddenly getting a Tesla.

    If they want to do online meetings open to the public, they need to get up to speed and bring someone in who can coordinate it. If not, then just keep them private.

    Sometimes you have time to learn, sometimes you need to bite the bullet and pay someone who already knows. Ultimately their choice.

  21. jjf

    Yeah, that’s why they pay me.

Pin It on Pinterest