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Privacy Education IT Your Rights Online

MIT Tracking Campus Net Connections Since 1999 125

Posted by timothy
from the why-assume-otherwise? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MIT has been monitoring student internet connections for the past decade without telling them. There is no official policy and no student input." The Tech article says, though, that the record keeping is fairly limited in its scope (connection information is collected, but not the data transferred) and duration (three days, for on-campus connections).
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MIT Tracking Campus Net Connections Since 1999

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  • by notionalTenacity (1526919) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @07:34PM (#27631381)
    I mean, really, while it's wrong that they store the data without telling the users, and while users should have better expectations of privacy, you have to look at this in context. They are only storing the data for 3 days, and it's only the connection details rather than the content. And the context that this is in, on Slashdot, is that a few articles down the FBI and the state of california are going to take and warehouse DNA from people that have not been convicted of a crime. I'm not saying this is inconsequential, but considering what's going on in the world in general, from state bodies, what MIT is doing should probably rank fairly far down the list of things to worry about.
  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @11:27PM (#27632989)

    I used to work at a small college.. We'd have bandwidth problems, I'd check the logs (ntop is very handy for this) and then look up the IP/MAC. Trace it to the nearest access point, walk into the cafeteria, see two students with laptops out. One of them, sitting far back in the corner so nobody could see their screen..

    It would scare the shit out of them when I'd walk up to them and just stay "please stop, or I will have to disable your access until you talk to the director of IT about our acceptable use policy" They could never quite figure out how I knew it was them..

  • by Toonol (1057698) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @11:40PM (#27633083)
    But any student with an ounce of common sense OR technical knowledge would have assumed they were. I'm surprised their data retention is as limited as it is. Not every single action needs to be spelled out in a contract with the student. The simple fact that the campus OWNS the networks gives them automatically all sorts of rights.
  • by Repossessed (1117929) on Sunday April 19, 2009 @08:44AM (#27635709)

    Um, no, they can't. They kindof have to use that one. Especially if they live in the dorms.

    How comfortable are you with your ISP and landlord tracking you?

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.