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Privacy Education The Courts Your Rights Online

Federal Judge Orders Schools To Stop Laptop Spying 359

Posted by kdawson
from the black-electrical-tape dept.
CWmike writes "A federal judge on Monday ordered the Pennsylvania school district accused of spying on its students to stop activating the cameras in school-issued MacBook laptops. According to the original complaint, Blake Robbins was accused by a Harriton High School assistant principal of 'improper behavior in his home' and shown a photograph taken by his laptop as evidence. In an appearance on network television last Saturday, Robbins said he was accused by the assistant principal of selling drugs and taking pills — but he claimed the pictures taken by his computer's camera showed him eating candy. Also on Monday, the company selling the software used by the school district to allegedly spy on its students blasted what it called laptop theft-recovery 'vigilantism.'" jamie found two posts from stryde.hax pointing out suggestive information about one school district network administrator, and coaching students how to determine if their school-issued laptops were infected with the LANRev software used to operate the cameras remotely and in secret.
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Federal Judge Orders Schools To Stop Laptop Spying

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  • by The End Of Days (1243248) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:08PM (#31252264)

    When are the "cheerleaders getting dressed" videos going to leak? You know someone was making them...

  • why isn't this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Presto Vivace (882157) <marshall@prestovivace.biz> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:10PM (#31252290) Homepage Journal
    criminally actionable under peeping Tom laws? Probably other laws too.
    • thus laws from the normal world don't apply.
      • by epee1221 (873140) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:16PM (#31252368)
        s/"on a computer"/"in a school"/
      • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:24PM (#31252450)

        why isn't this... criminally actionable under peeping Tom laws? Probably other laws too.

        Because it was done on a computer. thus laws from the normal world don't apply.

        Now that a judge has sided with the rest of the world that uses it's brains to choose right and wrong, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a class action lawsuit pops in. I dare say that many onlookers and also people involved would have been looking at this as a litmus test to see what the judicial reaction is. The judicial system has clearly said "This is a no-no!". As far as I can see, this is a green light for the "Well, you did wrong, now make it right with a bundle of cash" for those with the laptops etc.

        * Side note: Stop putting half a sentence in the damned heading and finish it in the body. It's bloody annoying to quote.

        • But I (Score:5, Funny)

          by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:26PM (#31252470) Journal

          * Side note: Stop putting half a sentence in the damned heading and finish it in the body. It's bloody annoying to quote.

          Like to.

        • this sounds like a conspiracy to deprive families (not just the students, although that would be bad enough) of their right to privacy. Seriously, someone should go to jail for a stunt like this. Also it strikes me as more than a little perverted.
        • by sconeu (64226) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:38PM (#31252626) Homepage Journal

          There already is a class action suit filed [slashdot.org].

  • Uh huh (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by MightyMartian (840721)

    From the article:

    [quote]All its theft-recovery software relies on a different model than the former LANRev, said Midgley. "We give no theft recovery tools to our [LoJack and Computrace] customers," he said. "The only truly proven model is a managed service model."[/quote]

    Translation: We don't want you spying on students, we want you to pay us to do it for you!!!

    • by westlake (615356)
      Translation: We don't want you spying on students, we want you to pay us to do it for you!!!

      Absolute is de-activating the cameras:

      Calling LANRev a "legacy" product, Midgley also said that Absolute would ship an update in the next several weeks that will permanently disable Theft Track, the name of the feature that lets administrators switch on a laptop's camera to take photographs of a potential thief after the computer is reported stolen. "It really doesn't serve any purpose," said Midgley of Theft Trac

  • This is absurd (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cntThnkofAname (1572875) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:13PM (#31252328)
    It's bad enough that overzealous law systems stop school from doing their job, but now it looks like schools feel they have the right to invade students privacy (perhaps to save face on a possible lawsuit??)... ah the irony of an institution that teaches the constitution and doesn't feel bound by it. No matter how "good" the intentions of the school, this should NEVER be allowed.
  • by Orbijx (1208864) * <.ten.seohcelexip. .ta. .gro.todhsals.> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:21PM (#31252404) Homepage Journal

    I'm almost a little surprised that the school wasn't being penalized for this beyond the "Don't turn on the cameras, teehee~" I'm seeing here.

    The concept of the technology makes sense -- get a visual of a thief using the stolen laptop. I'm okay with that. Wipe the Hard Drive on behalf of the customer's request if the unit is stolen and has information on it that shouldn't get out? Cool with me -- that's a feature people were able to buy on Dell's business laptops (Computrace, that is, with remote

    The student did not report the laptop as stolen, so there's no feasible reason to be turning on the camera.
    The school did not give birth to the student. There is no reason to monitor the student like a parent should.

    I'm happy to see that the hammer is starting to fall in favor of students using these units, but will the hammer hit the nail on the head?

    (Of note, I read the main article, but behind the corp walls of fire, I can't read some of the supporting articles and information.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      We don't actually know for sure whether the school did anything wrong. There's a hell of a lot of speculation in the complaint, and this is just a preliminary ruling.

      Fact is, it doesn't make sense for the school to be spying on anyone. That's 1200 students to spy on in the hope that they might catch one of them doing something naughty. Why would the school do this?

      There are all sorts of ways that the school could have got the photo through reasonably legitimate means. The suit alleges and speculate
      • by WiglyWorm (1139035) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:40PM (#31252662) Homepage
        As aa parent, I can say that no matter how my child's school comes across pictures, they have NO BUSINESS what my child does off of their property unless *I* ask for their involvment. The exception would be if my kid is getting in trouble for bringing in inappropriate pictures to school. I don't care what they thought they saw this kid doing, theirrights stop with informing the parents.
        • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:01PM (#31255284)

          Even that's not an exception. If they brought the inappropriate pictures to school, then it is on school property and thus their business. If the student is looking at the photos in his room, at a friend's house or even has a hidden stash a block away from the school, it isn't the school's business at all.

          If his grades were suffering because of looking at inappropriate pictures (or drugs or whatever), then the proper response is for the teacher to call for a meeting with the parents, not for the school administrators to require secretive spy cameras to make sure students aren't doing anything deemed inappropriate.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kramerd (1227006)

          No, the school has no business with what your child does off of school property regardless of whether or not you want the school to play babysitter. Be a parent dammit.

          The school's right to inform parents also only applies to what occurs on school property. The only exception would be things like school sponsored trips, where the school is still the guardian. In your own home, their is never a reason for the school to have access.

      • by bughunter (10093)

        That's 1200 students to spy on in the hope that they might catch one of them doing something naughty. Why would the school do this?

        It wasn't a 'school' that did this, it was a person, or a small group of persons. And it's been shown time and time again that people who do things like this operate under one [or more] of several [nonexclusive] motives, including 1) presumption of guilt, 2) prurience, and 3) presumption of authority or privilege.

        In other words, they were expecting to find something, that's why they did it. What specifically they expected is probably a function of whatever specific hangups the persons in authority possess

      • by andreMA (643885) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:56PM (#31252870)

        We don't actually know for sure whether the school did anything wrong.

        We're pretty sure they did, if we take at face value the statements of the district administrators.

        Assuming the only activations were in the case of laptops being misplaced or stolen. as claimed publicly by the District, by pursuing it themselves rather than turning it over to the police department, they were acting as private investigators.

        Pennsylvania, like most states, requires licenses for PIs. I strongly doubt the persons activating the cameras were so licensed.

        That's the most generous reading of events I can come up with at this point.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Adrian Lopez (2615)

        Fact is, it doesn't make sense for the school to be spying on anyone.

        That's hardly a fact, and in any case things don't have to "make sense" to you for them to be true. Perhaps the people you're looking at are acting irrationally? Perhaps the problem is your own inability to think of that which to others is a plausible motive?

        That's 1200 students to spy on in the hope that they might catch one of them doing something naughty.

        Who says they're spying on all 1200 students? Ask any maker of mass produced goods

      • I really cannot see any technically feasible way that the school could be punishing a student for inappropriate behavior at home, while providing a photograph as evidence, without having been spying on them. Those are the most basic facts that have been presented thus far in this case and unless something therein proves to be inaccurate, there was absolutely some sort of illegal spying going on.
      • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @09:04PM (#31254284) Homepage

        The innocent explanation theory is getting pretty threadbare now that we must add a federal judge to the list of people the school has mysteriously neglected to share it with.

        I doubt it's all 1200 students being watched. It's probably a "random" selection based on kids the principal doesn't like for whatever random personal reason.

    • by Orbijx (1208864) *

      (Computrace, that is, with remote

      Smoooooooooth, Orb.

      That should have read:
      (Computrace, that is, with remote data deletion. It worked by allowing the computer to receive commands remotely once it hits the internet anywhere long enough to do its job. A delete job can be sent to the unit, wiping the drive. It was designed to survive some hardware replacements, as well, so swapping out the HDD isn't enough. At the time I did my research, there was a TSR that would regenerate itself on any Windows OS if the entire hardware batch wasn't swapped,

    • fines? who about hard time for child porn? and for trying to cover it up.

    • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:32PM (#31252562) Homepage

      I'm almost a little surprised that the school wasn't being penalized for this beyond the "Don't turn on the cameras".

      This is just a preliminary injunction. The big legal hammer is being assembled and raised into hammering position. The school district is now in the very uncomfortable position of having the FBI, the Justice Department, and the ACLU all against them. Both Fox News and NPR are against them.

    • by ralf1 (718128)
      FWIW Computrace is Absolute Software.
    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      Talking about parenting, this kind of stuff would be going way too far even for parents. If parents shouldn't do it, schools have no reason to go near it.
    • The school did not give birth to the student. There is no reason to monitor the student like a parent should.

      I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that this behavior would be completely unacceptable and almost certainly illegal even if the parents were doing it -- nobody is allowed to take naked pictures of a 14 year old (not even the 14 year old!) and avoid federal, pound me in the ass prison.

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:28PM (#31252504)

    The court needs to stop them from wiping HDD's in the systems before any evidence is wiped away.

  • by TheQuantumShift (175338) <monkeyknifefight@internationalwaters.com> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:30PM (#31252526) Homepage
    Is how does any public school district have the cash to afford one macbook per child? That exceeds the total $ per student budget from when I was in school by a good amount...
    • by dclozier (1002772) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:43PM (#31252702)
      The cost was largely offset by the StudentSpyCam.tv website subscriptions.
    • Most public school systems in urban areas spend over $15,000 per year per student, yet they are still cranking out functionally illiterate kids. It's a travesty.

      • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @07:22PM (#31253206) Journal

        Maybe that's because money isn't (and never has been) the problem. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that teachers' unions fight to ensure that there are no consequences for failure for either the school as a whole or individual teachers. Maybe it all students had a voucher of $n of state funding so their parents could choose which school their child attends from the long list of local public, private, and charter schools, there would be a reason for public schools to actually work toward providing a decent education.

        The formula they've been trained on for decades is that the worse you do, the more funding you get. It's not a big mystery why they haven't improved.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @09:33PM (#31254562)

          I'm a long-time Slashdot user (5-digit uid!) posting anonymous for obvious reasons: you can't say this stuff and attach your name to it. Also, I'm not trolling: if you'd like to disagree, point out why.

          Have you considered that the problem might be that some schools have less talented students?

          I know it's not politically correct to say this, but inner-city schools are predominantly full of minority children, and suburban schools are full of white ones. When you control for different demographics, the differences in performance between the two systems largely disappear. The theory that inner city schools simply have more children who are genetically predisposed to poor grades, poor attention, and poor behavior is the one that fits the data best. The idea that all children can excel is a fallacy. Really, people are born with a wide range of different talents, and some are simply not built to shine academically. We should just accept that fact and make the best of it. Disparity of outcome is not necessarily indicative of a disparity in opportunity: if we accept hereditary variations in ability, we explain a lot.

          You're probably thinking I'm some kind of bigoted skinhead, but nothing could be further from the truth. All people should be alike in dignity. Does the man with an IQ of 80 who gets up at six every morning to work in a factory deserve any less respect than I, a software developer, do? If anything, he works harder. How about soldiers, or construction laborers, or dockworkers, or any of other essential professions that do not require education and intelligence? They deserve respect too.

          But they don't receive that respect. The problem is that we've economically structured our society so that it is increasingly difficult to lead a dignified life without an exceptional mind. With the sole remaining path to dignity being intellectual pursuits, it's no wonder that schools benchmark themselves on the academic performance of their students. When we combine that trend with the tragically incorrect belief that all people are born with equal talents, we get to our current system of pumping ever-more money into "failing" schools and trying to force them one way or another into producing brilliant pupils. Of course that doesn't happen, which leads to a sense of shame, further "failing" grades, movement out of the city into the suburbs, and so on. You can't squeeze blood from a stone, and sometimes you have to realize that a stone is good too.

          So what would be my positive program to remedy the situation?

          1. Consolidate all school districts: suburban "good" schools are a self-reinforcing phenomenon. If we accept the heritability of intelligence, then parents who have the money to move to one of these districts are on average more intelligent and have more intelligent children, which boosts the performance ratings of the suburban "good" schools. That in turn attracts more intelligent parents in a cycle of gentrification. Consolidating school districts over a wide geographic areas eliminates this demographic distortion, and as a side effect, would allow now-larger districts to take advantage of massive economies of scale.
          2. Track students aggressively: within the now-larger districts, set up gifted and special needs schools and direct students to the appropriate program based on test results. That's the fairest way to ensure that everyone can develop on the way that best suits him. It's a lot more equitable than the system we have today: a genius born in the south side of Chicago will probably never use that talent, which is a tragedy for both him and society.
          3. Provide dignified non-intellectual jobs: this point plays into larger socioeconomic econohistorical factors, but there is no reason that the wealthiest nation on earth cannot find dignified positions for people of normal intellectual means. We need to restore domestic manufacturing, extraction, and construction industries for many reasons, not least of which is to give people who aren't built for a university a chance to lead a dignified life. When these positions are available, the pressure to attend college at all costs will be greatly ameliorated.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak (669689)

          Maybe that's because money isn't (and never has been) the problem. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that teachers' unions fight to ensure that there are no consequences for failure for either the school as a whole or individual teachers. Maybe it all students had a voucher of $n of state funding so their parents could choose which school their child attends from the long list of local public, private, and charter schools, there would be a reason for public schools to actually work toward providing a decent education.

          1. Private and charter schools don't have to accept the the challenged, disruptive, underperforming, or stupid students.
          Which means it really isn't so simple as "blame the teachers' union!!1"

          2. If money isn't an issue, why do so many teachers spend their own cash on supplies for the classroom?
          Here's one article [vvdailypress.com] which cites two studies. If you care to read more, google it.

    • This may come as a shock to you but not all public school systems are funded equally. The higher the property values, the greater the amount of tax money. Some people try to sneak their kids into these over-funded districts by claiming that they live in the district. So while the povs go to overcrowded, nearly asbestos-free schools with leaky pipes, kids in rich districts get free MacBooks.

      As with most things in life, the Simpsons did it. My Tivo even picked up that episode recently.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jason Levine (196982)

      My son's school definitely couldn't afford that. In fact, my son's school district is talking about cutting the art/music programs and closing two schools. Including the school my son is in which happens to be one of the highest performing school in the district. Of course, the fact that the superintendent is a temporary one who won't be around to deal with the fallout has *nothing* to do about it. (No, I'm not bitter.)

  • Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:31PM (#31252552)
    Normally, when I come across stories like this, I figure that there are two sides to the story, that the school or business didn't really behave as ridiculously as the accuser is describing. There's usually a certain amount of sensationalism to such stories.

    But in this case... the school really seems to be as stupid and as criminal as they first seemed, or MORE so. Every new piece of evidence is making it seem more and more like not only a screw-up, but that there should be some mass firings, if not jail time.
    • But in this case... the school really seems to be as stupid and as criminal as they first seemed, or MORE so. Every new piece of evidence is making it seem more and more like not only a screw-up, but that there should be some mass firings, if not jail time.

      Given that there hasn't been a new piece of significant evidence come out since the release of the text of the lawsuit - hell, we haven't seen any evidence but the text of the lawsuit - that's an amazing claim.

      I think you are confusing press relea

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        Testimony from the kids that their laptop cameras had been activated repeatedly over the last several years? That it was punishable to deactivate or cover them? That wasn't part of the original story.
  • by jeko (179919) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:36PM (#31252610)

    FTFA:

    "...school district employees, including the superintendent, Christopher McGinley, ... making 'loud speaker announcements to all students allegedly commenting on the litigation, making false and untrue accusations [and] disparaging the Plaintiffs.'"

    Who doesn't understand that once the lawyers get involved, you shut the Hell up? What is wrong with these people?

    • by westlake (615356)

      Who doesn't understand that once the lawyers get involved, you shut the Hell up? What is wrong with these people?

      The lions are already loose and a few more won't matter.

      The lawyers should have been involved from the moment the school began considering purchase of the laptops.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by andreMA (643885)
      So the lawsuit can be amended to include slander, and the entire student body are potential witnesses.

      These people shouldn't be employed as janitors, let alone school administrators.

  • Camera question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Imagix (695350) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:38PM (#31252640)
    Two questions:
    1. Why didn't these people see the green light next to the camera?
    2. Why didn't they cover the camera with a little electrical tape?
    • Re:Camera question (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TechForensics (944258) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:41PM (#31252684) Homepage Journal

      Two questions:

      1. Why didn't these people see the green light next to the camera?
      2. Why didn't they cover the camera with a little electrical tape?

      Reportedly the green light would flicker so briefly it could have been mistaken for part of a startup polling process.

      If they had known the camera to be on, many would have thought of tape.

      • Two questions:

        1. Why didn't these people see the green light next to the camera?
        2. Why didn't they cover the camera with a little electrical tape?

        Reportedly the green light would flicker so briefly it could have been mistaken for part of a startup polling process.

        Why would a thief let the original software boot at all? How could anti-theft software integrated with the OS ever work?

        Because people are stupid, obviously.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          The overlap of idiots and thieves is pretty high.

          Also, I'd being willing to bet that a prtty big proportion of "stolen" laptops are just "lost" - as in left in the teacher left them in room 123 last week.

    • Re:Camera question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:43PM (#31252716)

      Would you people please read up on the fucking background before commenting?

      Why didn't these people see the green light next to the camera?

      Students DID notice the little green lights turning on. Many, many times. When they reported this to the district, the district said it was a "glitch."

      Why didn't they cover the camera with a little electrical tape?

      Why don't you walk around wearing a bullet proof vest? "Who cares if the district can spy on you, you can defeat them with tape." Uh, the school district shouldn't be fucking spying on students.

    • Re:Camera question (Score:5, Informative)

      by fred fleenblat (463628) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:49PM (#31252780) Homepage

      "blame the victim" doesn't fly in any US court.
      it *really* doesn't fly when the victims are children.

    • Re:Camera question (Score:5, Informative)

      by tftp (111690) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @07:10PM (#31253034) Homepage

      1. Why didn't these people see the green light next to the camera?

      Some did. As the comment above explains, some even asked the school what's going on, and the school replied (lied, as it seems) that it's nothing to see here, move along.

      2. Why didn't they cover the camera with a little electrical tape?

      Some did. Majority, though, didn't - in part because they never noticed the light and in part because they were assured by the school that there is nothing to worry about.

      It would be perfectly reasonable for a long-time /. reader, to smell the rat. But it is just as reasonable for a school student who is not a geek to not realize what may be happening. The students were also required to accept and use those laptops, and many would be rightfully afraid that any attempt to mess with them would result in expulsion, execution on the spot, or worse.

  • by headkase (533448) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:40PM (#31252658)
    So, the government turned on cameras that made their way into Citizen's homes without a warrent? Hmm. Also, the administrators: "We didn't do it! Must have been IT." That doesn't fly, the school is an indivisible entity, I don't care if the janitor did it: the school is responsible.
  • Metered response (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JeffSh (71237) <<gro.0m0m> <ta> <todhsalsffej>> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:43PM (#31252704)

    I am absolutely shocked and appalled at the manner this software was deployed implemented and used. Fortunately the FBI and courts are involved and this matter will be put to rest quickly and justly.

    That said, I think it's important that there be a metered and purposeful response to this problem. I fear that the parents of children going to this school district will seek some sort of civil damages for what occurred in this school district. That's probably the worst thing that could happen because where does that money come from? The school district, and that will cause irreparable harm to other programs at the school.

    I hope that the parents and other involved parties realize that a civil judgment against the school district awarding significant damages will not help anyone. I think most of the administrative staff at the school should lose their jobs and be replaced, but to see this go to the point where lawyers are making tens of thousands in pursuit of a civil reward is unjust as well. It does the school district and students no good when the goal is to cease the activity and create a better school district.

    • by tftp (111690)

      but to see this go to the point where lawyers are making tens of thousands in pursuit of a civil reward is unjust as well.

      Without the lawyers the school administration would tell you to go pound sand.

    • by yoshi_mon (172895)

      I fear that the parents of children going to this school district will seek some sort of civil damages for what occurred in this school district. That's probably the worst thing that could happen because where does that money come from? The school district, and that will cause irreparable harm to other programs at the school

      Who do you then propose pays for the harm caused by their actions?

  • I think a roll of electrical tape would cover me for the year.

    Along with the excuse of, "Yeah, I left it open. I must have turned off the lights and been in another room."

    How would they prove otherwise?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:49PM (#31252788)
    The stryde.hax writeup is enlightening and also terrifying. My initial theory, that this was all a scheme cooked up by a perverted IT "professional" in order to acquire a rich, on-demand source of child porn, is looking a lot more likely. If true, the IT admin, school board, and any administrators who approved the use of the technology should be tried under RICO statutes for conspiring to produce child pornography. These people should be imprisoned for life.
  • by RedLeg (22564) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:53PM (#31252840) Journal

    If the school district thinks they have trouble now....

    One good wank or any other nudity captured by this webcam mechanism turns the school district into child pornographers.

    If this numbnuts administrator is st00pid enuf to spy on this psrticular kid, odds are it ain't the first time, and he's probably got the goods on his workstation.

    I'd love to pull a forensic image of that drive and give it a good once over.

  • by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:56PM (#31252872) Homepage Journal

    ...I don't quite get; isn't it conceivable to these Penn. school admins that kids eat candy, and that a lot of candy is the same approximate size and shape as many pills? How in the world did that particular school admin make the immediate leap to dealing drugs from a video of a student eating candy while using the notebook? Is this particular "scholar" so out of touch that he had no way to imagine the kid was eating candy? Like "I would never eat while using school equipment, so obviously that student is using drugs, and from there he's obviously dealing"? It boggles my mind that these people, who are supposed to be intelligent, would embark on a so completely unconstitutional (public school == county agency, and the Constitution blankets any such agency in all American jurisdictions) procedure, and then top it off by using this illegally obtained evidence to accuse a student (who has now gone from "student" to "victim") of dealing drugs. I mean, you have to really be off your rocker to believe this chain of stupidity would make sense to any sane judge.

    I'm guessing there was some problem with drugs, or truancy, or something in this school system and a new teacher or young, idiot admin fresh out of liberal arts school with a goal to fight problems in public schools but completely ignorant of the law (but spent many hours playing video games in high school; Ms. Pac Man all time winnah) thought this might be a good idea. Its the only way I can make sense of the story...

  • Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MarkCollette (459340) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @07:12PM (#31253060)

    If I was Apple, I would also sue the school. Apparently the school created the impression that the camera light flickering on was some wide-spread glitch with the iSight cameras on the notebook computers.

  • by moxley (895517) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @07:36PM (#31253384)

    to put a piece of duct or electrical tape over the cam lens.

    I don't care what the school tells you, these people were spying on you. Perbix is obviously a voyeur who got off on being able to do this, and with students posting about how they were FORCED to use these laptops and how any attempt to disable the software could result in expulsion - I would NOT trust that school district, because the only reason this is coming out is because they got caught.

    I would tape the cam lens, and if anyone said anything about it, you would know that the the cam had been actived at a time when the laptop HAD NOT been reported stolen.

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