Zoom, an app that is fast becoming popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, is often used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations. Recently it has also been used for a number of things like firing people, and in one case, which is a first, sentencing a man to death.Also Read - Plea Moved in Supreme Court to Ban Zoom App After Complaints on Privacy Breach, Security Issues
A man, who was accused of having a hand in a drug deal, was sentenced to death in Singapore via a Zoom video-call. This is the first case by which an individual has been handed capital punishment remotely in the city-state. Also Read - Embarrassing! Businessman Accidentally Appears Naked on Zoom Call With Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro
The case, as reported by News18, involved 37-year-old Malaysian man Punithan Genasan, who was handed the sentence for his role in a 2011 heroin transaction. Also Read - Today Will be Your Last Working Day With Uber: Ride-hailing Firm Lays Off Nearly 3,700 Employees Via Zoom
In response to questions from Reuters, a spokesperson for Singapore’s Supreme Court said the hearing for Public Prosecutor v Punithan A/L Genasan was conducted by video-conferencing for the safety of all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peter Fernando, who is Genasan’s lawyer, did not object to receiving the judge’s verdict through a Zoom call, as it did not entail presenting legal arguments, but he is considering an appeal for his client.
In Singapore, there is a zero-tolerance policy in place when it comes to punishment for those dealing drugs, and many, including foreigners, have been handed the death sentence.
Meanwhile closer to home, a plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on Zoom, with the petitioner stating that the software application is not safe and does not have end-to-end encryption.
The plea also argued that Zoom App practices data hoarding and cyber hoarding, and also has issues of unauthorised access termed as “zoom-bombing”, where a stranger can join Zoom meetings and share objectionable content.