UK House of Lords cuts livestream after accidentally broadcasting personal phone numbers
Posted April 29, 2020 12:26 p.m. EDT
CNN — The UK's House of Lords suspended its online broadcast on Wednesday after the personal phone numbers of several peers were reportedly aired live a day earlier.
A spokesman for Parliament's upper house told CNN that Tuesday's "virtual sitting .. experienced a number of technical and data compliance issues." The chamber has stopped live streaming until "we are fully satisfied that these issues have been tested and resolved," he added.
According to the UK's PA news agency, the decision was taken after the broadcast of Tuesday's proceedings, when cell phone numbers for some of the lords were read out on the Microsoft Teams app as they either joined or left the online session.
Many British parliamentarians have been interacting online since their return from the Easter recess amid the country's coronavirus lockdown.
The House of Lords began conducting limited virtual proceedings last week using the Microsoft Teams system to enable video conferencing.
Getting these proceedings up and running in a matter of days has been a huge undertaking, the spokesman said, adding that the house will start TV quality broadcasting using Zoom technology from Tuesday next week.
The spokesman added that live House of Lords broadcasts are expected to resume on Thursday.
Wednesday's session was scheduled to hear ministers being questioned on a range of issues relating to the Covid-19 outbreak, including tax and transport.
A House of Lords tweet stated that a transcript and audio recording of proceedings would be published as soon as possible on Hansard, the official parliamentary report.
According to PA, journalists were able to watch Wednesday's proceedings live from a room on the parliamentary estate but the public were unable to tune in.