We imagine that there’s at least one member of the Italian senate who’s excited for more Final Fantasy VII Remake content, but this probably isn’t the way they wanted to receive it. When the Italian senate met yesterday (January 18) in a hybrid real-life/Zoom session in Rome, the session proceeded predictably, until a user named Alex Spence joined the call and shared a video of FF7 protagonist Tifa Lockhart in a compromising position.
It didn’t go over well.
According to Eurogamer (opens in new tab), senators exclaimed “sex offender” and “Oh, Christ” before ejecting the unruly user and trying to continue with their session. Speaking with ANSA Politics (opens in new tab), Senator Maria Laura Mantovani filed a police report about the incident, hoping that law enforcement could find and punish the perpetrator.
While ASNA kept things polite, describing the footage as “an anime-style video showing a stylized couple having sex,” Twitter user @FrancescoDonald (opens in new tab) was quick to point out that it was a “Tifa Lockhart hentai video,” and even included a link to footage of the incident. (We are not going to repost it here, for obvious reasons.)
It probably also goes without saying that the hentai video was a fan creation. (I’ve played through Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade twice and haven’t seen that footage, anyway. Unless I really missed something.)
While the incident is either chuckle- or groan-worthy depending on your tolerance for political pranks, it does highlight a common issue in the videoconferencing space. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, remote or hybrid workspaces have become much more frequent, even among official government bodies. While Zoom and similar services have a number of security protocols in place (randomized URLs, passwords, encryption, etc.), none of them is ironclad, and a crafty cybercriminal can probably find his way into most meetings. If it can happen to the Italian senate, it can probably happen to you.
The good news, of course, is that big, important meetings full of big, important people present tempting targets for trolls; your personal calls are probably much less interesting. Still, Tom’s Guide has a primer on how to identify and fix Zoom security issues, which should weed out the vast majority of malefactors. There’s nothing surprising here: Use a password, activate two-factor authentication, use a Web browser rather than outdated software and so forth.
As for the Italian senate, the pornographic interruption came in the middle of a seminar entitled “Towards a Transparent Civil Service.” While the FF7 video wasn’t transparent, pe se, it was, at least, a form of exposure.