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Florida Teen Charged With Felony Hacking For Changing Desktop Wallpaper 629

colinneagle writes: A 14-year-old middle school student in Holiday, Florida, was arrested this week and charged with "an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access," which is a felony. The student reportedly used an administrator password to log into a teacher's computer and change the background image to a photo of two men kissing.

The student also revealed his secrets after he was caught – the password was the teacher's last name, and the teacher had typed it in in full view of the students. The student said many other students used these administrators' passwords (their teachers' last names) so they can screen-share and video chat with other students. The student was briefly held in a nearby detention center, and the county Sheriff warned that other teenagers caught doing the same thing will "face the same consequences."
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Florida Teen Charged With Felony Hacking For Changing Desktop Wallpaper

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:03PM (#49447497)

    Twart future terrorists in their tracks must.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Justice system is retarded.

      • by weilawei ( 897823 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:59PM (#49448047) Homepage

        Retarded, justice system is. For you that fixed.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:27PM (#49448355)

        Kids need to learn the consequences of embarrassing powerful people. That is one of the golden rules of modern society; thou shalt not embarrass thy superiors. Snowden forgot that, and this little punk forgot that.

        You respect your betters, or you get tossed in a cage. That's the law. Ingrain that into your kid's brains before puberty hits, or they will wind up in a cage too.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @02:21PM (#49448863)

        Justice system is retarded.

        This kid's parents aren't too bright either. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their kids understand their legal and constitutional rights. I have a teenage daughter, and I have taught her that if she is questioned by the police, she should say exactly four words:
        1. I
        2. want
        3. my
        4. parents.
        Then she should say NOTHING else, until I am there. The police have no right to interrogate a kid without a parent or guardian present. I also made sure my kids watched this video: Never talk to the police [youtube.com]. The kid is TFA is in trouble because he mouthed off, and made the authorities look stupid.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Adults should keep the exact same strategy in mind, with one minor substitution. Replace parents with lawyer.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:09PM (#49447551)

      Especially because he put GAY GUYS on the computer, the horrors. If he had changed the wallpaper to a cat picture this would not have happened I guarantee it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you mean the teacher, then I whole heartedly agree. We must make an example of the moronic teacher that used their password (and a galacticly stupid one at that) in front of the class.

      The only person at fault is the teacher.

      Kids will be kids - it was better to change a wallpaper to "show the teacher the error of their ways" than to bully some poor dumb jock.

  • by OutOnARock ( 935713 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:06PM (#49447521)
    when I was a kid

    the things I might have done....

    picking the mimeograph of the test out of the trash if its in public isn't even a criminal offense...
    • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:11PM (#49447573)

      Yes, but this isn't in public. The fact that they had easily learned the password and were regularly using it isn't the same as it being "in public".

      I don't think this should be a felony, but just because I leave my front door unlocked and slightly ajar doesn't give you permission to enter it.

      On the other hand, I don't know why schools are so quick to call the cops for something like this. Kids must do something at this level of annoying multiple times a day, every day. If they called the cops for every one of those, we'd have to move the classes to prison.

      • by sasquatch989 ( 2663479 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:20PM (#49447641)

        Yes, but if you leave your door unlocked and slightly ajar does give me the right to put a pic of two dudes kissing in your foyer

        • So trespassing since you were uninvited?

          And yes, people who put flyers on door knobs are trespassing.

          • Depends on where you live. Putting flyers on the door knob is only trespassing if you have already told them not to be there, put up a no trespassing sign, or put up a no soliciting sign in most places. Otherwise, people can reasonably expect to be able to walk up to your front door.

            Pushing a photo through an open door isn't really trespassing either if you stay outside.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

          Actually no it does not. That is called trespassing.

        • Yes, but if you leave your door unlocked and slightly ajar does give me the right to put a pic of two dudes kissing in your foyer

          Might give him the right to kiss you in his foyer.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, but this isn't in public. The fact that they had easily learned the password and were regularly using it isn't the same as it being "in public".

        No, but where is the "crime"? where I live, a student messing with a background image might get some harsh words. Set it to something pornographic, and they might even get a lowered grade. Hacking in order to cheat on exams might get them expelled - but still no police involvment.

      • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:27PM (#49447725)
        The defense will probably (assuming it goes to trial) rest on the point that not only were the passwords public knowledge but were being used with the teacher's knowledge in other instances. To expand the analogy, it would be like keeping your key under a rock so any number of people can come in to feed your cat, but then one of those people scrawls something on the wall.

        'hacking' needs to have some lower bounds, and this sounds more like a case of simple vandalism then any kind of intrusion.
        • Not even that. More like one of those people hangs an ugly picture on the wall, which can easily be taken down. Worth a chewing out by the teacher, but not much else.

        • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @02:09PM (#49448771)

          I'm sure there is a "life hack" for that...

          One of my pet peeves is the overuse of the word "hacking" or "hack" in contexts that doesn't make sense or are just incorrect.

          In this case, there was no hacking involved. He knew the password and used it. Unauthorized access isn't hacking. Then again people with a bias or agenda will use terms for impact, just like "theft" and "stealing" when used in context of copyright infringement.

          To me, when people do that with words, they are just explaining to people either A) how biased they are, or B) how little they understand the subject at hand. Either way, not worth reading or listening to.

      • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:52PM (#49447973) Journal

        I don't think this should be a felony, but just because I leave my front door unlocked and slightly ajar doesn't give you permission to enter it.

        It shouldn't even be a criminal charge. It may be a crime by the letter of the law, but c'mon, this couldn't be handled in-house?! A moronic stunt like this calls for in-school suspension with a few extra and tedious academic assignments. I can't decide what's more pathetic, the fact that the school couldn't handle this internally or the fact that law enforcement took the "case."

        Coming soon, the 2015 remake of The Breakfast Club; it begins with all four kids in handcuffs, charged with felonies for their misadventures, and ends with the parents bankrupted by legal fees while the kids lose any hope of becoming productive members of society.

        • by iMadeGhostzilla ( 1851560 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:30PM (#49448383)

          This case, the woman who got 20 years for (possibly inducing) miscarriage, the guy who built a fort from cardboard boxes in his yard for his kids and was told by the city to remove it, all in the last few days -- I think they call for this quote from Jack Tramiel (of Commodore) when he asked how he could not hate Germans after having been in Auschwitz:

          "You know," he once told me, "it's hard to believe it really happened. But it can happen again. In America. Americans like to make rules, and that scares me. If you have too many rules you get locked in a system. It's the system that says this one dies and that one doesn't, not the people. That's why I don't hate the German people. Individuals, yes. Rules, yes. But not all Germans." He shrugged. "They just obeyed the rules. But that's why we need more Commodores. We need more mavericks, just so the rules don't take over."

        • It shouldn't even be a criminal charge. It may be a crime by the letter of the law, but c'mon, this couldn't be handled in-house?!

          Green had previously received a three-day suspension for accessing the system inappropriately.

          Green was released on Wednesday from Land O'Lakes Detention Center into the custody of his mother. He'll likely be granted pretrial intervention by a judge, sheriff's detective Anthony Bossone said.

          Green also received a 10-day school suspension. It's unclear if he'll return to Paul R. Smith to complete the school year after the suspension.

          Middle school student charged with cybercrime in Holiday [tampabay.com]

          Individuals who successfully complete a Pretrial Intervention Program will have their criminal charges dismissed.

          Pretrial Interve

      • by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:55PM (#49448007)

        You do't understand. The pick this kid posted suggested to them that he might grow up a Democrat. Soon he will be a felon and unable to vote. This is just one more aspect of many police state laws being put in place by the modern GOP and the shadow plutocrats that control it to make sure their grip on the public is complete.

        One doen't know whether to laugh or feel sorry for at all the right wing conspirator wackjobs, who are so busy protesting against the evils of "liberalism" and "socialism", that they haven't even noticed the plutocrats have inserted a rubber glove so far up their backsides that when the time comes all the plutocrats will have to do is to reach in and yank their hearts out.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:26PM (#49448351)

        Maybe they could just have the punishment fit the crime? When I was in school this would have meant bending over the Principal's desk and getting 5 swats with a piece of wood called a paddle. Now we're so much more civilized. Instead of bruising his ass cheeks we'll just ruin his entire fucking life. So much better.

    • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:22PM (#49448293)

      I actually had this happen to me in 7th grade. Another student realized that we could use a password cracking program (I think windows would save pw files) to crack local user account passwords. First of all this is back in the days when windows 95 had horrific security such as storing user account passwords in a file that any user could access. :P And what would happen is that when you logged into Novell windows would often then prompt you for a local user account as well. And almost everybody would type in their their regular username and password to each machine. Well the other student cracked the schools system administrator's password and it was surprise surprise his first name plus like 123.

      So for the first time in known history at our school, we finally had several administrators who actually could manage the computers. We changed the desktop resolution from like 640x480 up to a "modern" 1024x768 on all of the machines. We were able to fix teacher machines which weren't working. The "system administrator" at our school's solution to everything was just format and re-install. Which is probably cost-effective for him but not ideal for teachers who would have to reinstall all of their software.

      We also had a little bit of fun, using remote desktop software on friends to trick them into thinking that Microsoft Word had a sentient chat bot that they had unlocked. Or moving a file around on their desktop when they were about to click on it so they would have to chase it around.

      Well the fun all came crashing down when the system administrator went on vacation and came back to notice that he had apparently "worked" throughout his vacation logging into various systems. My friend who initially cracked his password had been dumb enough to log in as himself, and then 2 seconds later as the admin, then back in as himself again. The admin perfectly sensibly went to the principle, who unfortunately though was 80 years old and completely clueless on technology. The admin filled the principle's heads with "felony hacking" and warned him that we could change our grades (We all had 4.0+ GPAs anyway so...) and also that we could change all of the accountant's books. Which might have been true but... which to me raised questions as to why the IT manager gave himself access to the entire school's accounting records. So the principle called us each in one by one. Told us (without a representative or parent) that we could either as 12 year olds consent to something like 80 hours of community service at the school over the next year or else they would press felony charges against us. We of course all started balling one by one and folded.

      After that the teachers would ask us to fix their computers because they but we just had to shrug our shoulders and say "sorry, the school says if we fix your computer we'll face felony charges." Needless to say the computers returned to their shitty unmaintained state. The principle apologized to us a couple years later and said he over-reacted.

  • Insanity (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:07PM (#49447527)

    Can we just give Florida back to Spain or something?

  • by Art Popp ( 29075 ) * on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:07PM (#49447535)

    The question every person in authority should be in the habit of asking is: "Am I using the least amount of my authority possible to accomplish my immediate goals?"

    To get a peace officer badge, A Clockwork Orange should be mandatory viewing with a discussion to follow, and an arrest for not understanding it. I think peace officers who don't understand the point of that movie are at least as likely to commit serious crimes as 8th graders who tamper with screen savers. I'm willing to be proven wrong.

    • There are long range goals as well, and in some cases it may be worth trying to "scare straight" a teenager by hauling him off in a police cruiser and reading him the riot act down at the station. In this case, it should stop short of actually bringing those charges.

      Suppose your neighbour's kid notices you often leave the back door unlocked when you leave for a short errant, so next time you step out he:
      1) Sneaks in and leaves a turd on the dinner table
      2) Sneaks in and steals your wife's fresh baked a
      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Actually, followup studies suggest that the scared straight approach leads to more offenses in the future.

        A juvenile prank (and that's all this was) calls for the more conventional consequences such as detention, writing an essay, note to parents and such. Perhaps a suggestion in the parent's note that they should change the kid's wallpaper to "Barney and Friends" for a week.

      • by njnnja ( 2833511 )

        I think you have the ordering wrong. If someone defecated on my dinner table I would never eat off that table again. He might as well have set fire to it. And since the table is worth more than the iPad, I think the first scenario is actually the worst.

        It seems like a small thing, but it does highlight how something like theft is easy to judge the seriousness of; namely, stealing a $2 candy bar isn't as bad as stealing a $20 shirt, which isn't as bad as stealing a $20,000 car. But sometimes it can be diff

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          If someone defecated on my dinner table I would never eat off that table again.

          Really why? I mean you know we have things like disinfectants and such that would make it entirely safe right? A little soap water, and some elbow grease to clean it, then follow it with a little Lysol (which probably from a health stand point isn't even needed) and it should be cleaner and more germ free than before there was a turd on it.

          Have you ever been around small children or had sick pet? If your standard is must dispose of anything that has even been in contact with fecal matter must be dispose

    • Detention? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:14PM (#49448215)

      Was a simple, after-school detention not an option for some reason? I mean, really? You called the police? Did da big bad hacker scare you wif his eweet skills? Jumping Jesus on a pogostick! They're kids, mischievous by nature. Give the kid a detention, and institute a sane fucking password policy!

      If I were a parent of a child in this school, I'd be outraged. I'm outraged right now, and I don't live anywhere near Florida!

      • by jbengt ( 874751 )

        Was a simple, after-school detention not an option for some reason?

        Been there. Done that. Three strikes and you're out. (RTFA)
        Still, a felony seems awfully harsh.

  • by Dimwit ( 36756 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:07PM (#49447537)

    Hah. On the Windows 3.1 systems at my high school I would change the screensaver message to something like "FUCK THA POLICE" or whatever and then use the ATTRIB command to mark WIN.INI as read-only, meaning it was impossible to change the message back using the UI.

  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:10PM (#49447557) Homepage Journal

    It's rare that a jury should exercise "jury nullification" but cases like these, where the punishment does not fit the crime, are one of them.

    Acquitting a guilty person when the charge is over-the-top for the circumstances sends a loud message to prosecutors to dial-it-back to something sane the next time around.

    If there wasn't a history of other students doing the same thing, filing misdemeanor criminal charges in juvenile court with a pre-arranged deal where they charges would be dismissed and the arrest expunged within 1-2 years would not be inappropriate.

    Because there is such a history, even this is too much. This should have been handled as an internal disciplinary and/or re-training matter for the student and, in parallel, for the faculty so this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think to it shows a complete disconnect from what computers are and the seriousness of what the student did.

      If a teacher were to leave a spare set of keys to the Teacher Lounge under a mat and students saw this. Then some of students sneaked in and stole some coffee, etc. And one student sneaked in and changed one of the boring motivational posters to one of two men kissing. That would be the physical world equivalent of this crime!! No one in their right mind would charge the student with federal burgla

    • Very true.

      When did our schools become police states. I don't ever remember even seeing a police officer at my high school /*mumble*/ years ago (Now get off my grass). Now the schools have police officers on the property as an assignment, and trivial things like this become fully punishable by the state. What is wrong with two weeks suspension (Which I still think is heavy for a simple student prank) without needing to get the police involved and the threat of being arrested and tried as an adult (at 14

    • It's rare that a jury should exercise "jury nullification" but cases like these, where the punishment does not fit the crime, are one of them.

      What is even rarer these days is the jury trial. With evolution of threat of insane sentences looming and nonsensical cost of litigation even the completely innocent dare not risk ignoring plea deals and settlement.

      Acquitting a guilty person when the charge is over-the-top for the circumstances sends a loud message to prosecutors to dial-it-back to something sane the next time around.

      Blemishing the record of a prosecutor constitutes a high crime against god that will not be tolerated under any circumstance.

  • Well, yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jargonburn ( 1950578 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:11PM (#49447559)
    Obviously, he should have set it to a photo of two women kissing. Then the teacher wouldn't have been so mad!
  • Felony hacking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:11PM (#49447563)

    More serious than misdemeanor manslaughter.

    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      Well, maybe and maybe not. Even at the federal level such violations can result in a simple fine or probation depending on the severity of the offense and criminal history of the person in question. Involuntary manslaughter on the other hand generally has minimums in the year range.
  • True Justice. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:12PM (#49447575)

    Finally, we are teaching our children that justice is truly blind. It cannot see that we are charging the child, a 14 year-old, with a felony that will last the rest of his life. Never mind any jobs that the kid may try to get in the future. He is now a felon and shall be treated as such.

    Seriously though. He is just a child. I believe in making sure it is shown that what he did was wrong, but treating him as a full blown felon? Disgraceful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:12PM (#49447579)

    One time, I used a command prompt instruction to circumvent the 'security' our high school computer lab teacher had used to prevent students from accessing the Control Panel in Windows 3.1. The mouse tracking speed had been set too high, and the computer was difficult to use, so I fixed it. The teacher accused me of "hacking" and I was kicked out of the computer lab for the rest of the school year. That teacher probably still runs a computer lab; I grew up and went to work for Microsoft. I hope this kid is as lucky.

  • AUP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:12PM (#49447581)

    Most acceptable use policies would require the teacher to understand that actions taken with his credentials are his responsibility. As the teachers own password was used, he or she should bear the responsibilities of the action.

  • by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:19PM (#49447623)
    Oh, wait, it seems that we only care about "protecting the children", when its an excuse to cram morals based on superstition and mythology, or we want to ban something with the intent of arresting people, or give the police new powers to arrest people, harshen sentances, or errode the rights of the accused.

    But really, there are some pretty loud crickets when the state gets a hardon for arresting/harrassing children.

  • by mcfatboy93 ( 1363705 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:21PM (#49447655) Homepage

    If you obviously don't understand what the kid did, they how do you expect people to believe that your judgment is fair?

    Its clear in this situation the kid is the only one who knows that a computer isn't a magic box with pretty lights.

  • by WarlockD ( 623872 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:21PM (#49447657)
    Sheriff warned that other teenagers caught doing the same thing will "face the same consequences
  • Wow ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:22PM (#49447669) Homepage

    Sometimes you have to look at how these laws are being applied, and fight back the overwhelming urge to slap the stupid from the people who pursue these charges. And it might take a lot of slapping.

    This is a high school prank, nothing more.

    Honestly, the people who are filing felony charges of complete morons.

  • Glad to hear that the kid wasn't shot in the back 8 times while trying to get away.

  • a few decades and the kid would have been asked to do junior admin stuff after school.

  • by WD ( 96061 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:37PM (#49447805)

    The student observed the teacher's keyboard while the password was typed in. The student then used that observed password to unlawfully gain access to the system in question.

    This has nothing to do with the wallpaper. The student leveraged unauthorized access to a system to do something.

    • by itzly ( 3699663 )

      This has nothing to do with the wallpaper. The student leveraged unauthorized access to a system to do something.

      Yes, the student leveraged unauthorized access to change the wallpaper.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      You idiot. How dare you point out that they title is pure flamebait!
      What will you do next? Logical discourse?
      What is the world coming too.

    • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:51PM (#49447965)

      I'm with you.

      He had already been busted and slapped on the wrist:

      Green had previously received a three-day suspension for accessing the system inappropriately. Other students also got in trouble at the time, he said. It was a well-known trick, Green said, because the password was easy to remember: a teacher's last name. He said he discovered it by watching the teacher type it in.

      The only problem here is that he's being charged with a felony, because hacking laws on the books don't make a distinction between "petty" hacking and "grand" hacking. There's no shoplifting equivalent on the hacking books; it's all grand theft auto.

      The teacher needs reprimanded by his IT department and his leadership (principal, union, whatever).
      The kid needs his wrist slapped, and and county attorney needs to decide not to file charges, charge him with some sort of misdemeanor mischief charge instead.

    • So should someone who steals $2 million and a kid who steals a pencil sharpener both be given the same jail sentence?

      This is the same. Never mind that what he did with his ILLEGAL access was completely harmless (the pencil sharpener would actually slightly damage the shop keepers income if only slightly).

      ... absolutist

  • So, with the continued attitude that anyone who changes a parameter from the default setting is suddenly a "terrorist", I can only assume that the push for more CS in schools today is nothing more than a lobbyist-driven push to fill privatized prisons.

    It might as well be, with felony threats against a 14-year old. Don't be surprised when you can't get any gender to fill a CS classroom with idiotic law enforcement reactions like this.

    • Prison workers are cheaper than H1B workers. Maybe there's a nefarious patriotic plot behind all this.

  • Jesus. (Score:5, Informative)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:45PM (#49447893) Journal

    I think I'd have been put away for life, if I was younger and in the US, or possibly tasered, charged with assulting a cop's fist with my face then shot.

    When I were a lad and the school computers ran Windows 95 (all spiffy and shiny and new they were), I created a trojan floppy which renamed and overwrote some key executables which autoexec.bat with my own ones. My ones passed on the arguments to the true ones so the boot process worked as usual and it was very hard to see that it was trojaned.

    Of course they were set to "go off" on a certain date as a prank on a teacher who was being a dick and who many people had complained about and nothing changed.

    All you had to do was slip in the floppy, reboot and it would install the trojan. Of course once word got around everyone wanted in on the act so I had to do very little of the legwork to trojan the entire computer lab.

    I got a "yeah very funny (snigger) don't do that again mmmmkay?" talk.

    And that was it.

    Come to think of it I was always pissing around and hacking.

    What is school if not a safe environment for kids to learn stuff and learn where the boundaries are?

    Everyone involved in this charge should be hounded out of office and publicly shamed for being reprehensible humans.

  • by wizkid ( 13692 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @12:55PM (#49448009) Homepage

    Since states are now legalizing POT, the numbers are starting to Drop. So they've made the bar way lower on computer mucking!

    We gotta do something to keep the damn prisons filled!

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:00PM (#49448055) Homepage
    As a sysadmin this brings me to tears of anger because this isnt the kids fault and instead of learning about the system or security, theyre just learning what it feels like to be incarcerated without due process.

    a competent IT department for the education system has likely determined a best-practices for passwords but been overruled by administrators and staff citing computers, their difficulty, and their ironic unwillingness to themselves learn. Result: easy passwords. Instead of paperwork, meetings with staff, meetings with IT, and a documented record of a potential lapse in workplace best practises the educators have decided to railroad some poor kid into a trial offer of the prison pipeline and continue with school, business as usual.
  • On the bright side (Score:5, Informative)

    by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:00PM (#49448057)

    At least he didn't just take 8 bullets to the back.

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @01:10PM (#49448165)

    The teacher who used their own last name as an admin password is an idiot and should be reprimanded.

    But an unlocked door is not an invitation to come in and snoop around someone's house, even if all you do is swap some picture frames around. That's what the kid did. It was unauthorized tresspassing. He should be suspended. If he'd done something worse, he should be expelled and/or prosecuted. Also, we don't know what else he did, and even if it was nothing, not coming down hard on this will make other students think this kind of violation is not a big deal. Unauthorized access IS a big deal, because commonly enough it's done for nefarious purposes, like changing grades or getting a peek at exam questions. Also, tresspassing in general is wrong.

    As for the two men kissing, who cares. In 100 years, that'll be as not a big deal as interracial kissing is right now. If the photo is overly sexual in some way, then perhaps there may be an added problem of inappropriateness. In our current culture and all things being equal, a photo of a man and a woman kissing is more likely to be considered "romantic", while two people of the same sex kissing is going to be interpreted more sexually. That's not exactly fair, though, and if the school were to openly interpret it that way, they'd get into a world of shit politically.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, and trespassing (in the real world) is a misdemeanor, generally speaking. Not a felony, a misdemeanor. Why should the equivalent on a computer be any different?

      That said, I doubt most prosecutors would bother if someone reported that someone else had trespassed to leave a photo. They'd probably tell you to lock your door.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @03:56PM (#49449571)

    What SHOULD have happened in this case is that the kid should have been given a few days of detention. All of the teachers should have been made to change their passwords, not type them in when students can see and not let students use them. And the student body should have been given a warning that anyone caught messing with the computers or using the teachers passwords will get a few days detention.

    If the same student re-offends (and continues to mess with the computers) they can then be given a suspension.

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