Surfer (pictured) acting like one.
Surfer (pictured) acting like one.

FBI Warning: Millions of Zoom users “bombed” with unwanted pornography, “banned and bored surf locals” suspected!

"Inappropriate and disturbing."

You have, in this quarantine week three, been forced onto a Zoom call. The video communication remote conferencing service freely downloaded and easily used. Were you impressed by the technology? Wowed at how the person speaking would automatically have their image pushed to the front whilst everyone else, nodding and chin rubbing, were made smaller?

A snapshot of the future, certainly but danger lurks just below the fancy exterior danger lurks.

Danger and discomfort.

Shall we turn to National Public Radio for more?

Dennis Johnson fell victim last week to a new form of harassment known as “Zoombombing,” in which intruders hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography. It’s a phenomenon so alarming that the FBI has issued a warning about using Zoom.

Like many people these days, Johnson is doing a lot of things over the Internet that he would normally do in person. Last week, he defended his doctoral dissertation in a Zoom videoconference.

He had a big audience — he estimated it was about 40 people, including “my closest friends, family and my classmates and my dissertation committee” at California State University, Long Beach, he said.

It was in the middle of presenting when someone started drawing male genitalia on the screen. At first, Johnson said, he was not sure what was happening.

“I’m like, ‘Whoa!’ And then I freeze, and everyone who’s watching the screen freezes,” he said.

Zoombombers have disrupted an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in New York, Sunday school in Texas, online classes at the University of Southern California and a city meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich.

With schools closed and millions of people working from home, Zoom has become wildly popular. The company said 200 million people used the app on a daily basis in March, up from just 10 million in December. But that newfound popularity is bringing new scrutiny.

The FBI is warning schools, in particular, to be careful.

“The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” the bureau’s Boston office said this week.

But we all know who finds male genitalia the most funny. We also know who suddenly has the most time on their hands.

Surf locals.

Banned and bored in New Zealand, much of California, parts of Australia, South Africa and France.

When the FBI gets involved, though, it is no longer a laughing matter lest we allow Bodhi to have died in vain.



Opinion: The worldwide, draconian lockdown on surfing gives us all a wonderful chance to re-discover our rebel yell!

Surfing is not a crime.

Since the day of its creation, the outside world has distrusted skaters and entirely loathed the act of skateboarding itself, deeming it illegal on most streets and sidewalks.

As if that wasn’t enough, with time came evolved means to stopping skaters dead in their tracks; be it fines, arrests, skate stoppers, security guards, iconic spots destroyed daily, occasional hero-syndromed citizens, just to name a few.

All the while surfers got to pursue their board sport entirely uninterrupted or at least until now.

If there’s one good side to this, worldwide draconian lockdown on our favorite pastime it’s that surfers and skaters may now have a tighter bond and something to drain a few tins over. Namely, a blatant disrespect for any law officer/overly concerned citizen or sign telling us we can’t ride our chosen crafts freely.

Who knows, maybe this signals the beginning of a decline in surfings wall of positive noise, as one by one surfers around the world start taking a page out of skaters book.

Saying fuck you to who ever wants to stop us and going for broke anyways.

Quarantine in Style: World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater releases new bedroom collection for teenaged boys and girls!

For the GOAT Jr. in your life.

Let’s face it, at the rate this is all going, we are going to be locked indoors for the foreseeable future. And when we are finally allowed to congregate again it will be for a very short time as Coronavirus 2.0 will lock us back indoors once again. Coronavirus 3.0 after that and so on.

Oh, if we’re grim and dour about it all then the Coronavirus wins and we can’t let that happen so what are our options? What shall we then to do?

Redecorate our indoors, of course, and as if prescient, the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater just released a new bedroom collection for teenaged boys and girls with slightly upper-middle class retailer Pottery Barn.

Shall we feast our eyes?

Mmmmm. Sea foam green, no? And a very humongous faux wood mid-length. Very Surf Ranch. Very Lemoore with a chair reminiscent of 1970s era swinger parties but do you think that’s an appropriate look for teenagers? Something they should be encouraged to partake in?


Also, as a writer, I am slightly concerned by the placement of the books very high on a reclaimed wooden rafter. How are the teenagers supposed to read them?

Otherwise, I give this quarantine look an 8.2, well into the excellent range, and am extremely impressed by Kelly Slater’s understanding of the teenaged mind.

But what about you? How do you feel?

Mommy, are the heavy patrols coming again tonight? Mommy?

Breaking: Gold Coast closes Superbank effective midnight tonight! Police chief orders “heavy patrolling”!

"There is no holiday this year…"

From midnight, Coolly time, the Superbank is going to be shuttered, courtesy of the Gold Coast City Council.

Come tomoz morn, the joint, theoretically, at least, will be empty for the first time in living memory. It ain’t gonna be that great, so first day of the jackboot, no one’s missing a thing.

It ain’t the only beach getting shut down, either.

The Gold Coast Council will close all beaches from the The Spit to Surfers Paradise as well as that pretty long stretch of sand in Coolangatta that stretches to Kirra in the north.

All the other beaches from Coolangatta to Surfers will be open for locals, but closed to non-Gold Coast residents.

From the ABC,

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said while locals were doing the right thing, there had been some visitors at beaches not following social-distancing rules.

“Unfortunately, over the weekend, out-of-towners are descending on the Gold Coast in mass numbers and I fear that this number will increase over the Easter weekend,” he said.

“Therefore, as of midnight on Tuesday, The Spit, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta beaches will be closed [to everyone].”

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said beaches would be “heavily patrolled” by police.

“Not only those beaches [that have been closed] — all of the beaches as we go into Easter weekend,” she said.

It’s unclear, at this stage, whether Kelly Slater, who owns a holiday apartment in Palm Beach and who has been in self-quarantine there for the last week, will be bulldozed out of his bed after midnight as a non-resident.

More from the ABC,

Commissioner Carroll said people who owned holiday homes should remain at their “principal residence”.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reiterated people were not to treat the Easter break as a holiday.

“There is no holiday this year,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Just one surf, baby, gimme one surf.

An open letter to Scripps scientist Kim ‘I wouldn’t go in the water for a million dollars’ Prather, Surfline and Surfrider: “If the public continues to get hammered with conjecture as fact from SARS-CoV-2 ‘experts’ and the irrelevant Surfrider lobby, they will eventually lose faith in the necessary process of shared sacrifice and cooperation!”

Ratcheting down on the public from all sides without proof will sacrifice precious goodwill…

April 5, 2020: 

Dear Dr. Kim Prather (and Surfline, the Surfrider lobby, etc),

As someone who is very close to the SARS-CoV-2 mitigation efforts (as a scientist and CEO of a biotech company developing a novel TLR7 agonist to treat SARS-CoV-2) I am very disappointed that you went to the LA Times with very strong claims about a virus you don’t have any data on and have not ever studied.

Have you published any peer reviewed articles on corona viruses and infectivity humans in the ocean?

Do you have any training in virology, public health, immunology, medicine, pandemic mitigation, etc?


Did you help scare the hell out of the public and law enforcement with a lot of claims but no data?

Yes and yes.

The total beach closures that you have promoted have directly led to significant crowding of the coastal roads and walking paths. People are so closely confined in these already constrained areas as they walk that they are spreading the virus to a far greater degree than if they were in the open water or walking along a wide beach.

Come on up to Encinitas and walk Neptune Ave or the Cardiff trail, well done.

If the public continues to get hammered with conjecture as fact from SARS-CoV-2 “experts“, such as yourself and the irrelevant Surfrider lobby, they will eventually lose faith in the necessary process of shared sacrifice and cooperation.

I now cannot walk near my house during the day.

This going to be a very long fight and the public needs to be presented with data, facts, and proof from subject matter experts before major policy changes that have grave knock-on effects are enacted.

If the public continues to get hammered with conjecture as fact from SARS-CoV-2 “experts“ such as yourself and the irrelevant Surfrider lobby, they will eventually lose faith in the necessary process of shared sacrifice and cooperation.

If just three percent of an already highly stressed public says “screw it” then the authorities will immediately lose ALL control.

Since one percent of the population has schizophrenia getting three percent to totally losing it a few months is pretty easy.

Ratcheting down on the public from all sides without proof will sacrifice precious goodwill that we’ll need down the road as the facts on the ground change.

You are not alone.

I have seen a number of others touting breakthroughs and cures with bogus promises of being to treat the public in just a few months, when such options are much further out and that assumes their ideas pan out.

Most of my friends and my childrens’ friends who surf everyday, many at crowded spots, have not gotten sick.

That’s over 100 people surfing crowded spots everyday for months and months.

And, if you account for the huge number of untested and asymptotic virus shedders in SD County, there is a huge probability they have been shedding virus while surfing with all these kids and adults.

Humans have been shedding trillions of infectious viruses and bacteria into the ocean via sewage, run off and simply by being in the ocean. Some of the pathogens that are being released all the time are: e-coli, hepatitis A, influenza, herpes, norovirus, HPV, etc.

And yet the North County surfing public is just fine.

So please, collect coastal zone data to determine if there is in fact infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles in sufficient concentrations (as compared to the crowded Cardiff rail trail) to cause an infection. Then coordinate with the relevant subject matter experts (not the LA Times) to challenge your data and conclusions – in private.

Then you can contribute to peer-reviewed journals and contribute to policy decisions and risk benefit analysis.

Unlike your familiar zone of climate change and politics, the day-to-day decisions we are making regarding SARS-CoV-2 can directly lead to many more deaths.

If the ocean is in fact how the virus can super-spread then I will run ads in the local papers warning of such dangers and happily give you all the credit you would deserve.


Charlie McDermott

PS: Dear paid Surfrider activists, please shut up, shelter in place, and do not drive to my neighborhood to spy on my family.