The Unclear Impact

So, I've signed up for an online course. Found out it takes place on Zoom and is non-refundable. I won't allow Zoom to run on my machines for fear of spyware.

I figure I'll borrow a machine for this one time thing. Or maybe I could do it in a virtual machine? Is that even possible?

I'd really like to make the suggestion for the company to run a jitsi-server (class is capped @ 10 persons). Maybe even help them spin up an instance on a VPS. Any ideas for how to present the idea to them?

@fritjof I used Zoom in a disposable VM on Qubes. It worked OK, but I had to install zoom, allow access to mic and webcam every time.

@reynir Thanks!
I might try that too. It's a one time thing, so should be OK like that.

For now I am writing a long email to the place where I am taking the class to let them know that they could be spearheading something much better if they were to run a jitsi server and send how-to's out to their participants. I'm being *that* guy, I guess. Only hope is that they'll actually read it and not dismiss me as a fanatic (not saying they'd be wrong, but...)

@fritjof hello, as a course teacher, I am with you.

I know the feel dearly, because of that I open mine on Jitsi Meet.

If you want to mail them, I suggest you bring this one from our community https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/better-than-zoom-try-these-free-software-tools-for-staying-in-touch.

Wish you the best.

@reynir

Re: privacy, security, proprietary software

@fritjof for the few occasions when I have to, I run zoom inside firejail (I found virtual machines not so great with audio synchronization, and bad sound is quite annoying to people listening to me giving a talk). I run zoom with the private flag in firejail, so it runs in an overlay-mounted ramdisk, it has no read access to any of my files, and I also connected the sandbox to a bridge interface with a strict firewall

nevertheless, a VM is probably a better solution security-wise – especially considering that firejail is a setuid binary, and might be vulnerable to privesc from outside the sandbox (inside the sandbox capabilities are dropped), if you’re concerned about that sort of thing (I think on a single-user system, privesc to root is less serious than getting untrusted code running with full access to user files, anyways)

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