Australian police accidentally broadcast plans on Twitter’s live video streaming service, Periscope.
Last August, the BBC had a little apology to make to nearly four million of its viewers for inadvertently broadcasting a pornographic film. The incident occurred during a typical nightly news broadcast when someone else in the newsroom with his back to the camera opened his computer, put on his headphones, and played the video. It was embarrassing but funny, no one was actually harmed, and clips of the error will live on in internet legend for the rest of time.
In somewhat less amusing news, another technology foible could have had serious consequences for police officers in Australia. While allegedly testing out the station’s Periscope account, one person initiated the live stream while elsewhere in the room officers were discussing their plans for a first-of-its-kind, high-profile arrest.
Could be worse
An estimated 40 people heard the broadcast–which should tell the police department about their lack of social media standing, if nothing else–during which time officials went over details for the arrest of South Korean long-time resident Chan Han Hoi, suspected of being an “economic agent” to North Korea.
An Australian newspaper discovered the original tweet still led to the short broadcast on Twitter, then alerted the police. Officials from the department have said better security steps will be taken to ensure incidents like this one do not happen again.
Needleess to say, the Australian Federal Police has referred its own media team for an internal security review following this gaffe.
This is by far not the first or the worst example of corporate lack of understanding of social media and technology. Multiple reports show that employees, from the custodians to the C-suite level executives, are the weakest links when it comes to a business’ cybersecurity, mostly through a lack of awareness of the technology and how it works. If the insiders can open the door to a security breach, then the work is pretty much done for the hackers. In this case, just knowing that other people were in the room would have been a good first step.