And if you want something even more inconvenient, but with unparalleled
guarantees for respect of your privacy, see the recommendations from a
week ago by the Free Software Foundation (the GNU/Linux and GPL
people), who just had their annual meeting online using only free (as
in Freedom) / "Libre" software:
Other places on their site they have a ton more tips and suggestions on
how to avoid using software and services that control your computer and
your data, rather than the other way around.


Luben Dimov, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Forestry
312J Aiken Center
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Geoffrey Duke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Technology Discussion at UVM <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Zoom unsafe?
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2020 20:47:52 +0000

Looking for an alternative to Zoom for personal communications? Skype,
Microsoft’s consumer audio/video communications service, provides free
conference calls with no account required, just create a “meet now”
link. (And observe the cautions below about protecting that link!).
If all your folks are on Gmail/Google/Android, Google Hangouts might be
an easy option. (up to 10 people; requires account)
If all your folks are on Apple platforms, I have heard people mention
something called FaceTime.
Stay connected. Stay safe.
From: Technology Discussion at UVM <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf
Of Geoffrey Duke
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2020 4:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Zoom unsafe?
It’s important to remember that security is inconvenient. Finding the
right balance of “easy-to-use” and secure/auditable/accountable
requires constant effort and review.
Racial Slurs And Swastikas Fuel Civil Rights Pressure On Zoom
April 10, 20205:00 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
              Researchers who study online extremism warn that the
harassment that begins with Zoombombing doesn't end with the virtual
meetings themselves.
"A lot of these folks are taking a video or taking screenshots and then
sharing them in other places," said Joan Donovan of the Harvard Kennedy
School's Shorenstein Center. "We're seeing the artifacts of Zoombombing
show up on YouTube and on TikTok and on other video-sharing platforms."
When that happens, it's hard for Zoom — or any individual company — to
end the vicious cycle.
If all you need in order to join a meeting is a link — which can be
true of Teams meetings as well as Zoom; see Wesley’s question from
earlier — then handling of that “shared key” becomes critical, as does
understanding the controls that the software provides to prevent such
From: Technology Discussion at UVM <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf
Of Jonathan Trigaux
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2020 11:37 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Zoom unsafe?
This is the best summary I've seen so far of all of Zoom's privacy and
security issues:
In the wake of Zoom's PR disaster, several of them have been addressed
by the most recent release of the Zoom client, but many of the concerns
around encryption, data leaks and privacy are still ongoing.

Jonathan L. Trigaux
Systems Architecture & Administration
Enterprise Technology Services
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
On 4/10/20, 11:17, "Technology Discussion at UVM on behalf of Julia
Russell" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]>
Good morning everyone,
Simeon has just sent the attached memo (text below) to all Vice
Presidents and Deans on the topic of Zoom.  Please feel free to
circulate to anyone with questions.
To:                   Vice Presidents and Deans
From:              Simeon Ananou, Chief Information Officer
Date:                April 10, 2020
Subject:           Communication and Collaboration Tool
This is a reminder that UVM has acquired and has implemented a campus-
wide license of Microsoft Teams as our primary communication and
collaboration tool to facilitate virtual interactions in support of
university related activities. Teams is currently available to all
members of the UVM community. It can be used to host meetings of both
UVM and non-UVM-affiliates and is purposefully fully integrated into
the university’s overall technology architecture to reduce potential
confusion while improving the ease of use and security.
As we look for technologies and tools to support our social distancing
practices, it becomes imperative more than ever before that we
establish consistencies around the technologies we use as a campus
community. For these reasons, I ask all members of the UVM community to
take full advantage of existing institutional tools, such as Microsoft
Teams, and immediately cease acquiring new technologies such as Zoom or
other similar solutions. Offices that have an existing license of Zoom
or other such technologies should not renew these licenses at the end
of the current term.
Please encourage all employees within your college or division to
contact the ETS Tech Team Help Line at [log in to unmask] or by phone at
(802) 656-2604 if you have a specific use case for which you are unsure
if Microsoft Teams could meet your needs.
From: Technology Discussion at UVM <[log in to unmask]> on behalf
of Ian Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Technology Discussion at UVM <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 4:30 PM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Zoom unsafe?
I think one main feature missing from Teams (but also being actively
worked on) is gallery view. I had been using Zoom recently to keep in
touch with family/friends and being able to see more than four people
at a time was great. We’ve moved away from Zoom as a platform in lieu
of other solutions now that many school districts have banned Zoom
usage and my friends’ Zoom accounts are gone. Gallery view is something
Microsoft is working on though and can be voted on here:
Hopefully we see it soon.
Also, on the breakout room front. It’s also possible to do ad-hoc
breakout rooms by creating different “room” channels in a Team and
using the Meet Now function. This allows you to be flexible with your
breakout rooms and not have a large number of meetings on your calendar
all at one time. You can have students leave the main class-time
meeting and start their own breakout room in each channel and the post
in the general channel when you want them all to come back. Just
another workaround while Microsoft works on implementing and official
- Ian
From: Technology Discussion at UVM <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf
Of Geoffrey Duke
Sent: Thursday, April 9, 2020 4:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Zoom unsafe?
A colleague forwarded a well written description of a feature that
doesn’t currently exist in Microsoft Teams: Breakout Rooms
One huge reason we have instructors who prefer Zoom is that Zoom offers
an option for breakout groups. So … an instructor can “lecture” for a
bit of time, then send groups of students into separate breakout
“rooms” that the instructor can dip in and out of. It’s a really nice
function, especially for courses like language-learning, psych/soc
counseling, etc., so if MS Teams could do that, I don’t think we’d have
much trouble bringing faculty to the Teams side. Just curious about the
enhancement request process … 🙂
Currently, there aren’t Breakout Rooms in Teams. There is an existing
feature request at
Microsoft responded in January that this functionality is “planned,”
but we don’t have any timeline yet. I encourage everyone to go and
upvote this, and share it with their faculty, friends and neighbors.
These UserVoice requests drive Microsoft feature development decisions.
As a work-around, at least one faculty member has been creating a set
of concurrent meetings; one for the main lecture, and then several
others for the smaller group discussions, assigning students to the
different meetings manually. Students can join the small group meeting
it the appropriate time, and the instructor can join any meeting when
I realize this lacks the automation and control features that will come
with real breakout room support. But it’s an option and has worked well
according to reports.
Please upvote the feature request at the link above if you think this
is useful functionality,